Back in the mid 80’s, my uncle Mario would take my cousins and I to and from school, and during these car trips is when I got my first taste of so much of the music I still hold near and dear to me to this day. The sounds of rap and freestyle boomed through my uncle’s booming sound system, the bass especially shaking our little frames down to the core. I absolutely loved it. Acts like Newcleus, Kraftwerk, Afrika Bambaataa, Mantronix, Cybotron, and even N.W.A. and 2 Live Crew, fed our ears with that beautiful low end bass. But for me, one track in particular stood out above the rest- “Egypt, Egypt” by Egyptian Lover. This is one of those tracks that molded me and my musical palette. Egyptian lover was an inspiration. When I started DJing and breakdancing in the 90s, “Egypt, Egypt” always had to be in the rotation. Fast forward to the present day, and I still love playing that track out when I spin.
After nearly a decade without a new album, Egyptian Lover returned with his latest album titled “1984” (the year “Egypt, Egypt” came out), and it is nothing but pure, unapologetic vocoder-tinged electro-rap. He uses all analog gear, including the drum machine that changed the game forever, the infamous Roland TR-808. The opening track, “Into The Future”, starts off w/ a snare-kick combo reminiscent of “Egypt, Egypt”. The next track, “Killin’ It”, absolutely does just that. It instantly reminds me of a blend of Hashim’s “Al NaaFiysh (The Soul) and Cybotron’s “Clear”, two other 80’s electro staples. Cuts like “Seduced”, “Bellydance”, and “She’s So Freaky” showcase the infamous synth sounds of “The Nile” for which Egypt is widely known. “Dance To My Beat” sounds a little more new school, like early recordings from Detroit’s electro/techno group Aux88.
All in all, the album, which was recorded in the same group of studios that his breakthrough album “On The Nile” was recorded at over 30 years ago, is nothing but solid bass bangers. It maintains that uptempo party vibe that has made me a fan since I was a kid. Egyptian Lover has managed to create a retro sound that still sounds as fresh as it did so many decades ago.