Whilst remixing heritage music isn’t a new concept, prolific beatmaker Rageh’s new EP, Takasim, is a wholly imaginative and playful take on popular Egyptian classics. He doesn’t just sample the likes of Abdel Halim and Om Kalthoum, but rips out the essence of their songs, then wrecks and stretches it to fit the producer’s atypical beats, and it works really well.
Two years in the making, Takasim kicks off with ‘tekhonoh’ and Abel Halim Hafez’ baritone mawwal vocals put in a blender, before it ingeniously turns into a slow moving melody over a subtle hip-hop beat.
‘Darwasha’ is darker and more aggressive, with an escalating arpeggiated synth over intermittent ghost-like vocals, giving it a Stranger Things retro vibe throughout. Things take an upbeat turn with ‘msafer’ and ‘el le3ba’ inspired by Abdelwahab and Om Kalthoum respectively, twisting romantic ballads into lo-fi trip-hop bangers.