Rising in popularity in recent years, El Waili has quickly become an icon for the growing regional music scene. Associated with rap, electronic and alternative music, El Waili’s signature sound has contributed to the rise of multiple acts coming out of the region, working with Perrie, Moscow, Laï, and Zaid Khaled.
For his latest endeavour, the pioneering Egyptian producer has released ‘L Nor (1-3)’, a 3-track EP that continues to explore themes of lightness and darkness, which carry over from El Waili’s previous single ‘El Qadar’.
In this EP, El Waili takes a more laid-back approach on tracks like ‘El Awal’, where he embraces rhythms found in dance music along with a minimalistic sonic palette. He makes use of deep sub-bass, dreamy pads, and sliding synthesisers to deliver a hypnotic intro to the EP.
The track ‘Mstany’ then comes in with a more familiar sound, as El Waili comes through with his signature kick-snare pattern, paired with choppy vocals, plucky percussion, and a steady bass-line. As the track progresses, the elements ramp up in intensity, eventually reaching a point where the separate synth and pad sounds come together in a controlled yet chaotic outro.
The last track of the EP ‘Leltak Fol’ sees the producer collaborating with up-and-coming rapper Karim Osama. Osama’s flows and attitude shine on this track as the rapper channels a sense of charisma and aggression that continue to intensify throughout the track. The beat embraces elements of Western rhythms such as the electronic drum sounds and expands on them by incorporating Arabic Darbuka rhythms, giving the track its infectious groove.
The ending of the track also shows El Waili stepping out of his comfort zone, taking the track into a theatrical direction by embracing distortion and pitch-shifting effects to heighten the track’s energy.
This EP feels as if El Waili is exploring the possibilities of his signature sound, while expanding his style and musical direction through incorporating new rhythms and production techniques.
Listen to El Waili’s ‘L Nor (1-3)’ here: