We bring you the debut album from Aldous R.H., the vocalist of Manchester quartet Egyptian Hip Hop, where he reclaims his roots in lo-fi psychedelic indie-pop. A hallucinogenic trip that you can listen to here first-hand.
2012 is going to be a great year for Manchester band Egyptian Hip Hop, for two reasons. First of all, as we told you a few days ago, because the band will release its debut album on 22nd October; via R&S Records, no less. It will be titled “Good Don’t Sleep”, was recorded with Richard Formby and it confirms the quartet’s change of style, evolving from a robust indie-rock with psychedelic tendencies to a more electronic formula that induces a state of ecstatic abandon in a club.
The second reason why 2012 will be an excellent year for the band has to do specifically with its singer, Aldous R.H.. In his free time, he has been recording on his own, types of songs that hark back to the more classic style of the band, but with a very lo-fi air. They abound with echoes, distorted guitars and spectral voices, reminding one of the more underground era, of names as well-known today as Ariel Pink, R. Stevie Moore and Tonetta. This album was written and recorded during a very short period of time - from 8th June to 3rd July of this year - and as soon as it was finished it was sent to the factory: it will be released on vinyl this coming Monday (limited vinyl edition is available on www.enferrecords.tumblr.com), bearing the title “MISC. DISC.”, and it will open the catalogue of a new label, Enfer Records. Now you can listen to it in its entirety, the first (and exclusive) listeners, with comments from Aldous himself. Enjoy it.
1. It Is Dreamed
I was unsure whether to use this track, the sparseness was something I initially wanted to fill with more sounds and instruments, but nothing really sat right. So I think eventually I was trying to think of a nice subtle introduction to the LP and I came around to thinking it worked in the favour of the record opening with a minimal little ditty.
2. Watering, I
This was probably the earliest of the tracks I worked on for “MISC. DISC.” I didn't really intend on finishing this song but there were at least a few elements that made me come back to it. I think I most enjoy how many sections it has, there’s the Ryuchi Sakamoto inspired part which drops into the melodic, slimy funk bass which is fun. The opening section is a bit like a blast of air or smoke I imagine.
3. Sunset Distributors
This one came together very quickly, at this point I think I was reaching the peak of my phaser fascination (namely my Russian EHX SmallStone), although that’s definitely a theme that pops up a lot on the record. I based it on a kinda classic 60's pop groove, it was a lot of fun to record, which I hope is one of the vibes people latch onto, it kinda overrides my crappy drumming. The name was written on the side of an old disused van somewhere, I got a kick out of the imagery so I built the song around that idea.
4. Dawk For YKK Zips
This track was a turning point for the conception of the whole record, before this I'd wanted to focus on a simpler guitar, bass and drums style recording. I found myself using a lot of synthesiser sounds on this so I decided to loosen the limit from then on. The name was again something I saw written on a building which I found ridiculous but also pretty intriguing. Lyrically the song is written from the perspective of a beloved jacket to its owner.
5. Citrus Way/Kiwi Street/Coconut Grove
These were in a way intended as separate tracks, but to also have something linking them together. I eventually decided the best way to do that would be a medley of the 3 (which I originally considered calling “Fruit”) the first part was my idea of a straight up psych rocker, although not that heavy in hindsight, more wobbly than anything. “Kiwi Street” is a little more unsettling with little hints of optimism. “Coconut Grove” was my favourite of the medley and I think a very fitting closer to side A. I recorded the song in quick succession to make sure I captured the same feeling. A lot of it was ad-libbed actually, which you can probably tell.
6. Love Is Inside You
I guess this is my way of describing the subjectivity of our human emotions, you know, eye of the beholder and all. It’s also intended to really remind people that they're always capable of loving, you just have to open yourself to the possibility of it all. The genesis of this was fooling around with my Prophet 600 Synthesiser. Routinely it had decided to tune to a very unusual tuning, which led me to these chords, which got my imagination going enough to spew out this romantic little number. I'm pretty happy with this track I think, it doesn't demand anything, but I think it’s really rewarding given the chance… a subtle one definitely. I also recorded the bass on this track incredibly quietly which I think gives a nice secret sexy touch.
7. Reverie For Rev. F Yongo
As far as BT know, the guy that lives in my house is Reverend Fort Yongo. This was a little midnight jam I did, I don't think I set out for a zoned out drone at first, but once I turned on the arpeggiator it really led that way. Again I think this song can only give you as much as you're willing to ask from it, it was improvised after all so I think that says a lot about what kind of song this is. As far as placement in the track listing, I think it links quite nicely to the wiggly scorpion forthcoming.
8. The Scorpion Swing
For how quickly I wrote and recorded this song it might be my favourite of the record. It’s as crude as it comes, but I think the ideas were fresh and exciting to me when I laid this down so I hope that conveys. I think a few days prior I'd wanted to give a shot at recording a Turkish psych style track, but for whatever reason (mostly lack of required skills) it didn't come off right. To my surprise I think after recording this I noticed the exotic, maybe almost Turkish psychedelic nature hidden in there. Now I can say I've done a song about a scorpion, which is a good feeling, believe me.
9. Holy Office Hours
I think this was the last song I recorded for “MISC. DISC.”, either this or the actual last track. I can’t quite remember but I knew I needed a substantial song or two more to get it all done. This is one of my favourites I think, I won’t elaborate on the lyrics because I think it’s nicer to leave that to someone else’s imagination. I think this track sits well between the sad and the happy, it’s eerie but not too eerie. It’s a subtle touch but my favourite part is at about 4:46 in the song, when the bass and chord sequence change. It’s pretty satisfying to my ears. Although in some ways I'd liked to have worked harder on this track, I also had rules for “MISC. DISC.” I knew I had to follow… minimal edits, minimal mixing, minimal attention… hah.
10. (Slow) Downpour
I imagine this as a bonus track. I think the original idea for the song was something literally twice the speed which wasn't going anywhere. I wanted it to, so I slowed it down a heap and built a new song around it. This one’s like a good night lullaby track I think, intended to ensure you had a safe journey through “MISC. DISC.” and to say a soft goodbye.