EP Review: Ismael's Low Contrast on Nous Disques
KIK monster Ismael is back with another banging EP, this time on Berlin based Greek label; Nous Disques.
Kairo's underground king Ismael is back with a six track EP, this time on the Berlin-based Nous Disques imprint; a monumental sound that can't be pinned down to any one genre. It's experimental electro, borderlining on industrial techno, and outright sonic madness. The EP delivers on every track, each with its own personality, sharing a distinctive disturbed vibe - the artist is fickle when abiding to a certain style though, and constantly changes up the entire map, every track.
For those of you who are new to Cairo's underground scene, Ismael is part of acclaimed Egyptian music collective; KIK (Kairo Is Koming). Together, they have toured the world, and are currently mid-performances as part of their annual summer European tour that has been reoccurring for over five years now.
The Egyptian music producer dives right into the EP with three tracks on the A-side, Let Down, As She Walks By, and DT100. The first, an intro, doesn't quite prepare the listener for the intense bout of insanity Ismael is about to unleash on the second track, as As She Walks by is THE definition of a dance floor bomb - and should come with a warning label really. A chopped up vocal sample, incessantly repeating the name of the track hauntingly rumbles on all through. Midway through the third track, you are well inducted into the robust world of DT100. From what we can hear, we are pretty confident that is the name of Ismael's robotic, disco dancing, studio assistant - grooving endlessly.The flip side is a bit more relaxed, not that it loses the previously established overtly demented vibe, but rather a more mellow type of derangement. Picking up with Cross System III, the artist begins to pave the way for the second track on the B-side - the fifth track off the EP - Shiel. With this track, a direct break beats formation takes over, repetitive at parts, spruced with a number of obscure and dissonant sounds - our favourite track of this very solid compilation.
A superlative ending track, Aftertalk as its name suggests, denotes closing time, but rather than on the dance floor, it's an imagination of the types of sounds that you might be left with playing in your head after you have left the club.
We have always said that Ismael is a monster, this EP cements this even more, demonstrating how vulgarity and indecent behaviour can sometimes result in astounding pieces of club music. The EP might not work for every dance floor, but the few that would accept it would be exactly the type we would travel far and wide to find.