Earlier this week, Egyptian experimental label, Sound of Noize, teamed up with Amman/Berlin-based music community and online radio platform, Hizz Ya Wizz, for a monolithic three-day festival that brought together some of the region's best underground electronic artists for a showcase of the country’s ever expanding musical underground.
Kicking off day one of SoN festival, Kafr El Dauwar’s resident mahraganat futurist, Shah, took the reins, delivering non-stop bombardment of his signature techno/drill/mahraganat fusion that immediately set the festival off on a high note. Next up, Achieh shifted gears towards slightly more mellow territory with a DJ set that bridged between mellow ambient, off-kilter electronica, downtempo, techno, and thumping breakbeats, accompanied by visual showcased dedicated to legendary composer Ennio Morricone (R.I.P). Attentive viewers of the stream’s chat replay will have also noticed Achieh teasing an upcoming EP from Egyptian producer Kubbara (who also partook on day three of the Festival), set to drop on his label Beat Craft Records later this year.
In the penultimate set of the night, ambient experimentalist, STIFF, brought a live set filled with gritty textures, granular soundscapes, and euphoric synthesized chords that simultaneously touched on moments of extreme serenity as well as cacophonous noise. Closing off day one, Maha (aka PAMDGVV) delivered a moody set filled with low-key house, deeptech, and touches of afrobeat and that slowly built in energy towards a thumping dancefloor flurry, set to a backdrop of psychedelic visuals.
Picking up the energy from the night before, day two saw SoN Festival dive straight into high-energy peak hours energy with MHMDGAAD’s blistering combination of techno and blown-out trap, with brief moments of spacious ambience scattered intbetween. Archidi continued this upwards energetic trend, dialing up the distortion with a special live set filled to the brim with dischordand electronics, massive bass, abrasive vocal chops, and stank-face inducing breakbeats. Closing off the second day, Serbian-Egyptian producer/sound designer, Hannah, brought non-stop club ready heat in the form of massive electro, acid-house, and peak hours techno that certainly marked one of our favorite highlights of the night.
Bringing things back to Kafr El Dauwar on the third and final day, rapper Super Maro delivered a live set featuring trap, chaabi and a hell of a lot of bass, followed by fellow KDR labelmate, VII, who took things in a more old school boom-bap focused direction, and featured production by Shah. Later on, Sound of Noize label head, ESSPERX, brought a truly genre-hopping set that flowed smoothly between trap, ambient, experimental bass, house, synthwave, and countless genres in between. Finally, rounding off the last day of the festival, acclaimed producer and DJ, KUBBARA, brought a gritty, experimental, modular live set, that shifted constantly between dancefloor-heavy breakbeats, ambient, and driving 4-to-the-floor techno, direct from a rooftop overlooking the Great Pyramids of Giza.
Overall, Sound of Noize’s first festival was an excellent debut from the two platforms, showcasing a range of Egyptian artists across a multitude of genres, featuring both veterans and newcomers alike. With this likely to not be the last Sound of Noize festival, one can only imagine what sonic territories the festival will explore next - especially in a post-Corona world.
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