© photo Ex Luisa

Paris-based Egyptian poet/songwriter Abdullah Miniawy has teamed up with the France's Simo-Cell for their first collaborative EP, the 6-track Kill Me Or Negotiate, which dropped digitally on October 16th and is slated for release on vinyl on November 30th.

Hot off his collaborative track ‘The Dirty Canes Lake’ with the UK’s HVAD (and their stellar live performance at this year’s CLICK Festival in Denmark) Abdullah Miniawy continues his creative streak through 2020, and joining him on this latest record is producer/DJ Simo-Cell, who has been featured on such labels as Livity Sound, Timedance, Wisdom Teeth, and has recently launched his own label TEMƎT in early September of this year. The duo first began their collaborative explorations in the winter of 2018, jamming and experimenting with new sounds at Simo’s studio in the Parisian suburb of Pantin. 

A deep exploration of many facets of bass music through the duos unique lens, Kill Me Or Negotiate combines the western influences dub, trap, and experimental hip-hop with Middle-Eastern vocal traditions and sufi-inspired rhythms. That being said, Kill Me Or Negotiate begins on a more ambient note, introducing many of the more subtle instrumental undertones that resurface across the length of the album. 

The trap influence in Kill Me Or Negotiate is clear from the beginning of the second track ‘Pending In The Pattern’, which introduces the album’s absolutely massive 808 bass kicks and rattling trap hi-hat patterns that prevail through the succeeding two tracks. From here we are introduced to Miniawy’s continued explorations into more avant-garde usage of his voice, which drips with emotion and is strained to near breaking point.

The penultimate track ‘Caged in Aly’s Body’ brings the dub influence front and center through echoing trumpet flourishes (courtesy of Miniawy himself) and a heavy dosage of dub-delay melding pretty much all the instruments on the track into a distorted sonic mass. Despite not featuring Miniawy’s vocals as prominently as some of the other offerings on the record, ‘Caged in Aly’s Body’ stands as a testament to the duo’s incredible production throughout the project, making it clear that Kill Me Or Negotiate is a truly collaborative effort on all levels, rather than a selection of beats that put Miniawy’s vocal stylings above the instrumentals in terms of compositional importance. 

As with the opening track, the closer ‘Weed In The Freezer’ leaves things on a more ambient note, rounding the project off nicely and highlighting the cyclical nature of Kill Me Or Negotiate as a whole. As a collaborative record, Kill Me Or Negotiate ticks all the correct boxes, presenting an intense east-meets-west take on contemporary bass music from two incredible musical talents. Hopefully, Kill Me Or Negotiate signals the beginning of a longer journey of collaboration between Simo and Miniawy.