Hussein Sherbini – Beng

• “Beng” set to a picture of the housing album cover.

7.6 “Great Trance Rock from Egypt”

From his album “Electro Chaabi” released in May 2015.

I do like a good evil-sounding record and this certainly fits the bill. Hark, the alternative sound of young Cairo today; Einstürzende Electro! It’s a challenging sound for sure, darkly atmospheric and, from what I’ve read, his lyrics are skilfully written, tackling real and serious issues, free of dreaminess, pretension and clichéd slogans.

The album is sarcastically titled, and is virtually devoid of the Arabian flavour of Cairo’s Shaabi scene. I’d call him a prankster but, frankly, it seems like he’s far too earnest for such glibness:

I am a huge supporter of the Electro Chaabi movement and I consider it one of the most organic art forms to come out of Cairo in the past 40 years. I just think that it’s unfair to not consider the alternative electronic scene in Cairo to be as organic if not more progressive. It’s very easy for the west to label my music as “industrial” “bass” “techno” because it doesn’t have the generic basic oriental elements that have been overused in the past decades. It’s like If i want the western attention now a days I have to make some really cheap beats and add some “oud” or “qanoun” and have some oriental logo with arabic calligraphy. And not just to the west, even to the Egyptian crowd, if I don’t have basic oriental elements in my music it’s not accessible to the public. The only western influence in my music is the fact that I’m very aware of music technology and the history of music production. I also tend to push the limits of production trends as opposed to just sticking with the basic stuff so I can fit in that specific segment/description “Egyptian/Exotic/Authentic” whatever you wanna call it. This is a message directed at the alternative and commercial scene in Cairo first and the western orientalist enthusiasts second. There’s this trend in the media industry where everyone just caters to the audience because they claim that the audience is just not intelligent enough to understand anything slightly sophisticated. I think that’s bullshit, that’s just the media industry being too lazy. The only reason why the audience might not appreciate sophisticated art is because they’ve been force-fed all this mainstream garbage for the longest time.

Well said Mr Sherbini, deliver us from the real evil; mainstream garbage.

This fine work is available on a name your price basis at Bandcamp.

’twas another from Mark Whitby’s June 2015 show on Dandelion Radio. By the way, I’ve got gems galore stacking up from my July to December trawl… keep it locked… don’t touch that dial… etc. etc.

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