In case you haven’t realised, we really, really like Egyptian Hip Hop at Dummy. We’ve covered them a lot in the past – most recently with a behind the scenes look at their new video – so when a promo copy of their debut album ‘GOOD DONT SLEEP’ came through in the post a few weeks ago, it was promptly put onto the office stereo. It didn’t really leave.
Recorded with Richard Formby (whose recent résumé includes Wild Beasts and Darkstar) at the tail end of last year, ‘GOOD DONT SLEEP’ has been a while in the making, but the wait is oh so worth it. Those familiar with earlier singles like Rad Pitt or Moon Crooner may be left wanting at first, with the album seeming to lack any immediately bouncy songs on a surface level. There’s still plenty of dance tracks on the album – Tobago opens the album with arpeggiated, Caribou-esque synths and carries a steady 4×4 pulse, whilst recent single Yoro Diallo is a polyrhythmic stormer – but they do not have the same exuberant instant gratification as these previous singles did. These songs, and the whole album at that, are deeper, more introverted affairs, and far more rewarding because of it.
Given the age of the band when they released their earlier singles, it’d be tempting to call the record more ‘mature’, but that word seems somewhat reductive, suggesting that their music somehow wasn’t mature beforehand. You only need to take a look at the producers they had on board in the past to prove this untrue – two of the most important modern musicians around, with Sam Eastgate from the sadly AWOL Late Of The Pier behind their first single and Hudson Mohawke behind the follow-up. ‘GOOD DONT SLEEP’ is more mature, but perhaps it’s better to say it’s more ‘considered’, with songwriting that is much more adventurous and densely-layered than anything that the group have put out before. The double-whammy at the end of the album, the droning One Eyed King and the Slowdive-isms of Iltoise, are proof (if proof be needed) that Egyptian Hip Hop are one of the most genuinely experimental pop groups around right now, one with a voice unlike any other ‘indie band’ operating at the moment.
Stream the full album ahead of its release over on the NME website.