Ones To Watch 2010: Egyptian Hip Hop

This foursome can’t be pigeonholed
Egyptian Hip Hop
Surely it must be a sin for a band tipped as the next big thing in Manchester’s supreme musical lineage to denounce lad rock, broaden their horizons and sound more like early Blur than Burnage’s finest?

Then again, did you really expect a band whose name combines a country to which they have no ties and one of the few genres of music that their sound doesn’t encompass, to fit calmly in with the norm?

Under the barrage of questions that the aforementioned qualities can only be expected to produce, lead vocalist Alex sounds completely unbothered by the fact that the band “aren’t very popular in Manchester” and hails the rest of the city’s musical heroes as “overrated”. And for those of you wondering, they are called Egyptian Hip Hop “because it sounds like something no one would ever call a band”. “I used to quite like Joy Division,” he says. “New Order not so much; but we don’t sit there listening to the same ten albums as each other over and over again, going on about who we want to sound like. They all had their own scenes and we haven’t got one. We don’t have baggies or anything like that. In fact we all wear various sizes of clothing!”

But that is, without doubt, the whole point: this foursome can’t be pigeonholed. And it is this diversity which would appear to have music hacks and the lucky few (outside Manchester) who have seen them, drooling over their effortlessness. To have created such a furore when the band has played away from home “maybe five times, and one of them was in York with no one really watching” says a lot about both the band and the industry, but if these kids can cough up a record full of tunes as good as the few that are already available, there will be no stopping them. “We didn’t sit down and set out to be a punk band,” offers Alex. “If we like something, we just do it and it is still genuine, we’re not restricted.”

They supply laissez-faire beats and genre-crossing, down-tempo melodies that ooze out of cyberspace and seemingly infect everyone they meet, which, considering they have only a couple of songs readily available to listen to and have yet to offer a proper release, is even more impressive. Luckily for your ears they have been in the studio with producer Sam Eastgate and have a double A-side release pencilled in for February with Hit Club.

As if they didn’t already have the credentials of world-beaters, they have anecdotes aplenty. Bassist Nick’s first band included Johnny Marr’s son and they used to go round to Marr Mansion to jam. The newest Crib even gave twelve-year-old Nick a pair of shoes and some guitar pedals for his troubles. They were found potless and underage in a nightclub by everyone’s favourite Peep Show extra Joe Lean, who fell in love with their name and spread the good word about their music, before he had actually heard any of it. Two of the band members even met in GCSE Music, which they both failed.

Words by Dean Renphrey

Where: Manchester
What: Grunge music for funky house kids.
Unique Fact: Their bassist was once given some shoes (and pedals) by Johnny Marr.
Get 3 songs: ‘Rad Pitt’, ‘Dust (Bedroom Demo)’, ‘Heavy Heaven (Demo)’

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Get Egyptian Hip Hop's 'Dust' as part of Clash Magazine's Ones To Watch 2010 download album HERE.

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