Mixing ethereal chants, spine-chilling bass-lines and off-beat rhythms, Atta'allah's debut EP is certainly one of the freshest sounds we've heard come out of Egypt in a while. Listen here...
Last year we stumbled upon the emphatic single releases of young Alexandrian Electronica producer Ahmed Hisham AKA Atta'allah who has just released his debut EP, a stirring three track effort On Faults, Defeat, Progress. What Atta'allah does best is create sonic epics, pieces that lay somewhere between film score dramatism and surrealistic emotion. This is emphasised from 0:01 of the EP as Faults crackles into existence with an all-mighty ethereal chant, resting into a spine-chilling echoey bass build up that conjures up images of the birth of a new world, complete with volcanic eruptions, sky transfiguration and hazy evolution. The heart beat of the seven-minute track eventually kicks in beautifully with its delayed, crunchy palpitations before being injected with a pinch of magic, as swirling 8-bit wonder escalates frantically, louder and louder, finally returning the listener back to the nothingness of space.
The second track, On Defeat, is an off-the-beat, head-nodding number reminiscent of Gold Panda's choppy, pinging rhythms. Atta'allah's use of that fantastical spiraling 8-bit synth is put into full effect once again, ebbing and flowing louder and disappearing amidst the continuous string-based rhythm that subtly leans on a 4 x 4 beat towards its climax. A climax that seems reckless and frantic yet somehow controlled; a compliment to a producer who generally uses a minimum amount of elements, neatly mixed yet still exuding complexity and fullness. Keep an ear out for some original and compelling drops into minor key as well.
Lastly, On Progress; a breathless, futuristic synth alarms, arpeggiated throughout, occasionally syncopated with an ascending string, all surprisingly tied to an aggressive Hip Hop/Trap drum rhythm with its fast paced snare rolls and 808s. It feels like Tron making its way through an Oriental bazaar with a crew of Atlanta rappers in tow.
As expected, this is one of the freshest debut releases we've heard coming out of Egypt's expanding experimental electronic scene and we wait eagerly to see how is sound develops over the coming years. Have a listen to the EP in full below. Keep up to date with Atta'allah on his fanpage here.