Boomkat Product Review:
Delirious selection of pressurised electro-chaabi, Egyptian grime and dancehall from the Cairo new wave; ZULI, 1127, 3Phaz, ABADIR, Nadah El-Shazly, KZLK & Youssef Abouzeid, brought to you by one of the boldest labels in the world; Nashazphone.
Manic, noizy, and ripping at the seams with inventive heat, ‘This Is Cairo Not The Screamers’ unleashes a furnace blast of energies from collisions of local electro-chaabi with shredded computer music. It is the latest volley from the Algerian/Egyptian label which has left no niche safe over its 14 years in business, and taps directly into a crucial vein of thrilling new music from the Egyptian capital that has us transfixed.
Electro-chaabi has emerged as a plugged-in, street rave ready sound in the past decades, in recent years pushed into increasingly complex arrangements. ‘This Is Cairo Not The Screamers’ now surveys the scene at a crucial point in its development, where internal and external forces buckle the local style into often breathtaking and bruising mutations that mirror the likes of Nazar’s take on Angolan Kuduro, Low Jack’s shake down of Caribbean dancehall, or Slikback’s tekno twyst on East and Central African traditons, for example, in the outernational scene.
With concerted focus on harshly textured electronic dynamics and field recordings, all artists featured here reflect an impressionistic take on electro-chaabi traditions that speak to the global dancehall flankers. Zuli throws down a split gauntlet of brooding to terrifying horns and galloping kicks recalling DJ Scud’s Full Watts charges, bolstered by the flashcore-esque attack of 1127 and knee-buckling noise by 3Phaz. Nadah El Shazly renders streaking avant-geometries in ’Sekket el amwal’, while a memorable introduction is made to Abadir with their cyberpunk vision of ’2030’, KZLK’s searing barrage of Merzbowian distortion, and Youssef Abouzeid thrilling transition from dissonant horns to dancehall psychedelia.