The Algerian electronic music scene always tends to pale in comparison to other regional scenes currently thriving in countries like Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan and the UAE. These aforementioned countries now harbor massive underground scenes and stockpiles of beaming new talent that is being exported to the rest of the globe, cementing their presence as sizeable dance music entity.
One can only name a handful (if even that) of Algerian DJ/producers whose reputation has managed to cross their native borders, or even a handful of events taking place there. Young Algerian talent Selim Bouziri however has been making it abroad under his Wave Particle Singularity moniker, repping Dzayer both regionally and abroad from his Mannheim base. Over the course of the past year, his music both signed and white label has been widely displayed on independent music outlets like UFO Beats and Verzila.
His infectious microhouse reworks of Madonna’s “Vogue” and Ricardo Villalobos’s “Skinfummel” bundled with his earliest releases on labels like Silencio and Gramaphone managed to align prominent rising figures like iO (Mulen) and Lee Burton in his support. This early boom in his career only paved the way for more releases on European labels like Soundterasse and Moral Fiber Music.
We spoke to Selim to found out more about his beginnings, the scene in his native Algeria, his musical style and quantum physics.
So Selim, how did you start out with music? Was it all dance music for you from the get-go?
It all started with a passion for collecting old school hip hop albums at 14. Step by step I started paying more attention to the work behind it, getting my hands on some beats, sampling old jazzy stuff, vocals, etc. This whole hip hop thing sort of bridged me to the world of electronic music, in which I discovered a world of inspirations that I still identify with today.
Was there any specific dance music wave/movement in Algeria that gave you a push in pursuing a career as a DJ/producer?
Sadly not at all. At that time I was seen as a weirdo listening to repetitive kicks without vocal or melodies. I had a group of close friends who could understand my influences but nothing more, it was fully the result of my own discoveries and research.
Tell us a little bit about the choice behind your pseudonym of Wave Particle Singularity.
It stems from a concept in quantum physics that every particle or quantic entity may be partly described in terms of not only of particles, but also of waves. It expresses the inability of the science to fully describe the behavior of quantum-scale objects. This whole idea is known under the name of “wave particle duality”, but I tend to view it more as a singularity. To me it's not the behavior of a particle or a wave, it's just a whole other type of behavior that humans have never seen before, but still attempt to interpret. It was a source of many debates between Albert Einstein, Max Planck, Nils Bohr etc. since the concept falsifies many concepts previously established about the world. I chose the name as I felt it could identify best the moody textures and progressions I utilize in my productions.
Wow, I never saw that answer coming. So you’re a bit of a math wiz then?
I think we all should be! Math is a language unlike any other, but instead of allowing us to talk with each other, it allows us to talk with the universe.
When and why did you make the choice to move to Germany?
It came with my choice to focus my professional career on renewable energy projects and sustainability. Germany is definitely the right place for that, and clearly for music as well, so surely I’m in the right spot.
How did you manage to sign releases to labels like Silencio and Moral Fiber?
I was in contact with the guys at Silencio for sometime in 2017, and since they had an idea about my music, they simply contacted me one day proposing that I join Click Box, Kepler, and the whole crew with a track for the double vinyl celebrating their one year anniversary.
Moral Fiber's owner Andreas Bergmann already liked some of my stuff a long time ago but the label was drowning in releases at that time. Until last year I sent him some fresh work of mine and he just loved it, so we made it a vinyl only release, 100% solo with four original tracks.
Given that you return to Algeria in the near future, do you think you’ll have the outlet to play regularly? Are there enough platforms that support your sound back home?
Unfortunately I don’t, the society there has very little open mindedness for art in general and almost no existing underground scene currently with the exception of a group of friends running the ATM (Algerian Techno Movement) and hosting some underground parties in some secret locations in Oran and Algiers.
So how did you develop your microhouse touch? What were some of the inspirations that help you craft such a sound?
I wouldn't call it purely microhouse but rather a mixture of house grooves, spacey textures and some microhouse influences. My main inspirations range from the old school Chicago and Detroit house to North African Saharan influences.
Which of the the Maghreb countries has the most thriving underground scene in your opinion as an artist from that region? Can you attribute that to a particular reason?
Morocco and Tunisia are definitely doing a better job in the Maghreb countries and there are two particular reasons for that. First, these two countries have a better recognition of the value of music and art in their societies, so they offer more support. Secondly, they are open to tourism, and tourism means usually having people over from other countries that are willing to discover the culture and therefore willing to bridge ideas and contribute to many aspects. That's how many artists, labels, and festivals flourish.
Finally, any artist with a catalog like yours would be focusing a lot of his time on touring at this point. Why haven't you attempted to do that so far?
I've been getting this question quite often. I have a lot of vinyl/digital releases on many labels that receive strong support and give me good connections. Any other artist would be already touring from time to time, but truth is that in parallel to my full time job I have very little free time that I can only dedicate to production, as it’ll always be my first passion. Of course it doesn't bring financially what touring would bring but I have a full time job as an engineer that is fulfilling enough for me to still keep a focus on music as a passion without focusing on the materialistic side of it. DJing is of course an art that I respect a lot, but if done seriously, it would require more sacrifices and flexibility. That of course doesn’t mean that I don’t get invited for some gigs and podcasts from time to time.