Egyptian Hip Hop - Good Don't Sleep
- By Ismail Mulla -
- Oct 17, 2012
Despite the name, Egyptian Hip Hop don’t have anything to do with Hip Hop or Egypt for that matter. It’s easy to forget that they registered on the music radar, as four fresh faced 17-year-olds from Manchester ready to storm the music world, almost three years ago. They spluttered, stopped and started again, but their debut album 'Good Don’t Sleep' is finally here.
The album kicks off with 'Tobago', which features a repetitive bass line and although at first it is refreshing enough, after a while the crisp galloping bass line becomes more of a treacle-like plod. But there is an autumnal crispness to this track aided by a Beach Boy-esque sonic flurry in the middle.
A Radioactive whirr opens up 'The White Falls', once again a very light, fresh, sonic feel to it. But a minute and a half into the song and you get the distortion of the percussion and the scruffy guitar melodies, accompanied by the breathy vocals of Alexander Hewett.
A large proportion of Good Don’t Sleep pines back to the psychedelic 60s, never more evident than on 'Alalon'.
'Yoro Dialio' steps up a few gears with a jingly guitar melody, occasional burble of the bass guitar and an admirable if relentless vocal delivery, Hewett is adamant he’s found his range and is sticking to his guns. It doesn’t always work though as 'Strange Vale' is as clunky as four day old custard. Not to mention the relentlessness leaves you no so much as annoyed but more numb. There are still occasional tweaks to the electronic burbles but Strange Vale is more a miss than a hit.
'Snake Lane West' sees Egyptian Hip Hop take Psychedelia worship to the nth degree. As a result it lands itself in cheap pastiche territory. All the little wobbles and burbles aren’t enough to save it from sounding like a cat drowning in a vat of acid. While on lead single 'SYH' Hewett’s gossamer vocals have a Megan Louise like delicacy about them, occasionally popping his head above water like an excitable dolphin with the high notes.
The burbling bass guitar comes to the fore in the ritualistic number 'One Eyed King'. This track haunts feverishly in parts and is carried by a mysterious urgency, akin to certain parts of Bat For Lashes 'Two Suns'. 'Iltoise' brings us back up to date with a lighter, less draining finale, the prefect detox to the heavy, pulpy numbers that precede it on the album.
Egyptian Hip Hop are mesmeric in parts, repetitive in others. They re-tread old ground but also have something there to latch onto and harness and forge new paths for themselves. Good Don’t Sleep is a good to solid first outing for them to make music as magnificent and grand as the pyramids of Cairo.
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