Egyptian producer J!N’s latest EP, Foreigner, is introspective and at – at moments – almost ethereal as the artist takes us through a journey that seems to cover different times and places. The Cairo-based artist is a master of the ambient sound, having explored it in depth in her debut double-sided LP, pink ink stm & wite ptl, albeit rather differently.

Released on Cairo-based label, HIZZ, the EP kicks off with spacey track, ‘Alien’, which features the artist’s soothing vocals, that at various points seem to head in an almost infinite direction into a musical void, leading listeners on a journey. The long synth chords seem to intentionally lack a start or end point, adding to the overall atmospheric, limitless and otherworldly vibes that reflect her “feeling of alienation and feeling the struggles associated with living with my thoughts,” as she explained, to SceneNoise.

The second track, ‘Eden’, however is much more grounded, featuring nature-inspired sounds that are reminiscent of birds chirping, leaves being crushed or even the sound of water flowing. “It was created to reflect the peace of mind that finally came with being locked up,” she reveals. With the use of lower-pitched synth chords, the track evokes an almost grand, celestial feeling that’s laced with a range of multifaceted sounds. 

‘Gemma’ and ‘You’ take a turn and feature anxious,  jazz-inspired melodies that hold a sense of continuity between the two tracks. ‘You’ features a voice sample from the 2012 indie comedy film, Frances Ha, pondering the meaning of relationships within the context of the finiteness of life, adding an intimate, vulnerable layer to the track. Created back-to-back, both tracks, according to J!N, reflect the “bittersweet emotions of {her] peace and struggles.”

Described as “the epitome of imperfection,” the closing track, ‘Broken’, channels the artist’s intention to reflect a feeling of fallibility . With the dissembled sound of the sax carrying the piece,  it channels the mixed feelings of peace and anxiety, ultimately translating a range of emotions with which many listeners will be able to identify, especially during these disorienting times.

It’s this point that encapsulates the EP as a whole. Ambient music can often feel detached, with its common lack of melody or composition making for passive listening. Foreigner doesn’t fall into that trap and its ethereality plays into its intimacy, beckoning listeners to dive into the thoughts and feelings of J!N.

Foreigner is available on Bandcamp.

Follow J!N on Soundcloud,and Instagram.