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Cairo hailing producer Zuli dazzled us with two 12”s on Lee Gamble's UIQ label, an EP on Haunter (as played by Aphex) and now hits us with his debut album on UIQ. Its predictably great and yields a few surprises in the form of his crew of MCs, namely; Abyusif, Abanoub, Mado $am, R-Rhyme and vocalist MSYLMA whose voice on takes us to the Egyptian capital city, somewhere in the future.
The tracks featuring the Arabic MCs feel as fresh as when I first heard those old Schematics records and that era of electronic hip-hop like Autechre remixing East Flatbush Project - yet fully new skool. Never purely hip-hop or ambient, it weaves into and out of styles effortlessly. One moment could be a smeared Actress vibe, the next Yves Tumor style, then wild processed computer music, melancholy ambient etc. Fourteen tracks in all, the album is positively bursting at the seams with inventive ideas and creativity, yet somehow really cohesive as a whole, despite a sort of frantic/chaotic energy. Zuli’s beats bounce around and land straight in the solar plexus while more introspective moments such as the piano-led ‘In Your Head’ show another side to the producer - an artist that really channels the full scale of his personality into his electronic music.
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