One of the most exciting producers quickly emerging in Egypt's Electronic music scene is the dark and mysterious Gást. We talk to the 25-year-old musician to find out more...
Muhammed Green AKA Gást is a 25-year-old IDM producer living in Cairo… or he’s a mysterious being that lives inside the matrices of his laptop, excavating ominous ghosts of sound. We're not sure. He’s also a travel agent by day, which is fitting because, by night, his productions have a transportational and transformational effect on the listener, creating murky, otherworldy soundscapes, often with contemplatitive ambient spaces and a congregation of interesting beats and glitch noises. His talent as a technical musician shines through in his diversity, each track having its own subtle inspirations from Drum and Bass to Minimal House to Oriental. Another one whose perked the ears of many in Cairo’s burgeoining Electronic music scene, having gigged at venues such as 100 Copies on a regular basis and, recently, at Vent, we caught up with the man himself who we can only imagine was typing away under a hood, in a dark cave, somewhere with shadowy minimal music in the background…
When and how did you get into music production?
I started making music about eight years ago. I used to have a band and it was me who was writing the music. I've always loved music since I was a kid so I always wanted to do something I really love.
What do you use to produce and what's your live set up?
For multi-tracking I use Ableton and my live setup only an Evolution Midi controller.
Do you have some go-to techniques or effects you always use when producing?
Not really, I don't like to stick with one thing but you can say that I like to end the track the same way I started it and I like to use giltches.
Your image is pretty dark. Do deep seeded psychological issues help your creative process?
I think "the dark zone" is my favourite area when it comes to music, I'm not a big fan of happy music. Psychological issues? Not that much but I build the concepts based on people, like the way we turn from good to bad or calm to anger and how changeable and random we are. I make my works reflect the same idea.
What does Gást mean?
The meaning of Gást is the same as "a guest" in the environment that each track should have.
Who are your favourite artists at the moment?
Arcade Fire, The Knife, Autechre, Jack The Ripper, Holden, Massive Attack and Melody's Echo Chamber.
Who are your favourite local artists?
I'm not that good at following local artists but the ones who got my attention are Hussein Sherbini from KIK and Cellar Door.
If you could collaborate with any other producer who would it be?
I would love to collaborate with Karin Dreijer from The Knife, Ihsahn of Emperor or Jonas from Katatonia.
Do you have a musical background? Play any instruments?
Yes I play guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, oud and I sing all the vocal elements on Gást tracks.
What inspires you outside of music?
Fashion, movies, friends, home, space, the future and the mastery of everything.
What are the biggest obstacles you encounter as an emerging artist in Egypt?
The ignorant ones always that try and take you down. Also, there's not that much space to introduce yourself and what you're doing. The culture is very low, the idea of making money out of art its non-existent in Egypt.
What do you think of the music scene in Egypt at the moment?
The Electronic scene getting much better, and I've found a few ones who actually listen to good music not commercial shit. The Metal scene, for instance, is still shit, with most of them trying to get attention and that's it in my opinion.
What advice would you give to Electronic music producers just starting out?
To be unique, you have to make something no one has done before. Never judge yourself from your first work, the more music you make, the better you get and never get disappointed because good music kicks in when it wants to not when you want to.