In his first solo EP, Hussein Sherbini of Wetrobots fame, establishes himself as an avant-garde producer, using 90s influences to create a futuristic sound. We take a listen to Fairchile and get taken on a trip with the eponymous protagonist...
When an EP like Hussein Sherbini’s Fairchile comes out, it’s hard to look at it within the context of Egypt’s music scene because it is nothing like anything Egypt has ever heard. It’s not experimental; it has a soul, a story, a togetherness and a calculated heart beat. It is also nothing to do with the “ahh daa Acid ya man?” that your nearest Deep House DJ might be tempted to holler out. If you have to label it as something, you could call it ‘Heavy Break,’ personifying the huge bass kicks and build ups that underline the EP; a sound not too dissimilar to Sherbini’s previous work with the Wetrobots where the power and energy of each track was their signature. However, there is no doubt that this is a far cry from the Pop/Electro-Trash sound that had young girls bopping their heads to catchy hooks on tracks like Disco Me which lead to the ‘bots success earlier this year, taking them on a tour around Europe and piquing the interests of international publications. Having toured Europe and featured on countless international publications. “A lot of the sounds are still somewhat similar to Wetrobots though, like the heavily processed vocals and some of the bass lines. Not necessarily melodically, but sonically, I think there’s still some Wetrobots in there,” Sherbini told us.
The first track on the EP, Fairchile 55, is 3.24 minutes of reaching emotive vocals, redolent of Marz Volta’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala, that precedes the powerful reverberant drum line in Fifty Six which comes out like a masochistic shot gun to the head. The EP starts to collect pace by the third track, Safe, and after two minutes of rapid synth movement, underscored by that trademark kick and a beautifully subtle Hi-Hat-esque click that recoils around your head, Sherbini’s genius shines out as scattered, child-like bells ping un-rhythmically, before dropping into the bass with an ecstatic cadence that makes you feel like you’ve just started the exhilarating drop of a rollercoaster.
Fairchile has been in the works for over six months now and though his original plan was to create an EP that synchronises inspiration from Techno and Hip Hop, the record came out with the overruling influence that 90’s music had on him, never more evident than in the title track, which seamlessly falls into a triumphant Glam-Rock-style “Come make us wanna chase you all through the night,” and the rip-your-hair out chorus where he screams “Out of control!” It’s not pitch-perfect, but they were too busy shooting heroin and fucking groupies backstage in the 90s to be too concerned with that kind of thing anyway. The penultimate track, Liana, plays out like a love story from the future with beautiful piano keys juxtaposing the boisterous build up before the EP ends, fraught with haunting dark energy; a metallic spiral into the abyss in Ought.
More than anything, you can tell that this is an EP which is made to be performed live, in the midst of “green lasers and fire,” as Sherbini dreams up. It’s an evocative catalyst of chaos and self-discovery told through the story of Fairchile. Who is Fairchile, though? “He’s a character that I decided at some point should be created out of this EP because the way it progresses could very well tell a story. I love score music and it’s something we’ve been doing for a while at Epic 101 Studios. The idea developed to the point where I decided to release a story book with the EP which is almost like a comic. At the end of the EP, a character called Faya appears for this “To Be Continued” kind of ending. I’m already working on the second EP which will be called Faya.”
The story book finds Fairchile waking up in a strange world. Confused by his new biology, as green lights begin to emit from him, he’s faced by enemies out to get him and potential heroines trying to save him. It’s an epic fantasy story told through music, reminiscent of Coheed and Cambria and it truly adds a whole other layer to the album, strongly stamping Sherbini’s mark as a cinematic producer.
Best listened to through decent headphones or “big-ass-speakers,” download Hussein Sherbini’s debut EP Fairchile with the digital story book here.