Egyptian hip-hop producer, Rafiek, recently dropped his debut instrumental EP, Area, marking the first solo production effort from the young artist. Aside from a handful of live performances alongside rising trap youths, Karim Enzo and Moscow, Rafiek’s only previously released works came in the form of a small handful of singles and production features, including ‘El Aqel Ghaleb’ and ‘Asly’ with long running collaborating Egyptian rapper, Mad Bunny (not to be confused with Latin superstar Bad Bunny).
Working behind the scenes (as most of Egypt’s hip-hop producers do), Rafiek has gone the extra mile to separate himself from the pseudo-celebrity, hype-chasing culture of Egypt’s trap scene, instead leading in favor of an anonymous, ski-mask-toting aesthetic.
Throughout Area’s futuristic, psychedelia-laden trap-mahraganat fusion, Rafiek holds his own across five similarly named tracks, evolving and expanding upon his sonic palette with each iteration. Across the length of Area, numerous other genre dip in-and-out of the thumping mahraganat percussion, including brief glimpses at sci-fi ambient soundscapes, spacious cloud-rap production, and even cathartic chord swells that would be right at home at a hazy psy-trance festival or big room melodic techno gig.
While immediate comparisons can be drawn to superstar Egyptian producer, Molotof, for their heavy fusion of dance-music inspired motifs with mahraganat, Area as a whole leans closer towards Rafiek’s trance-music background for the most part.
It’s becoming increasingly rare to see Egyptian hip-hop producers release solo albums of original material without the reliance of a rapper to hold down lyrical duties, and so we hope that seeing such a newcomer take this step is a marker of more to come rather than a one-off experiment. For Rafiek, we think the young producer might have the chops toe-to-toe with some of Egypt’s trap production heavyweights very soon.
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