Egyptian duo Aguizi and Fahim are at it again, this time with a progressive old school EP...
Aguizi and Fahim's latest production, Echoes From The Past, is indeed an addition to their growing library of releases. The album itself utilises some very old school sounds, and reminds us of a time when glow sticking was an art and candy ravers a reality we had to endure. Some of the tracks have some areas where they could have done with a little less, but there are also some outstanding breakdowns and some fantasmic drops.
The first track Ethnicity starts off nice and slow; a warm synth pad is layered beautifully on the drums which are very hypnotic; soundscape is established rather slowly and by the second minute the track starts to break, with a deep hypnotic synth fluttering through the divide. The problem with this track is that as it approaches the end of the break it turns from a hypnotic bouncy track into an old school progressive 4x4 beat that kills the vibe, really. The fill is a very traditional progressive fill, and the drop is too noisy. It does get better with the second drop, which is less noisy with only a synth lead dropping with the beat, which sounded great.
The second track Space is a bit slower on the build up and - like its name - it's rather alien, with a space pad being driven over the entire track, which doesn't forfeit on its 4x4 integrity, and Aguizi and Fahim drive the drums with a relentless kick. The spacey synth in the break is pretty nice actually, although it could have been a little bit less roomy - it disappears suddenly after the last break, and the track peals off its layers to the end. Not a bad listen.
Who is Anaksunamun and why is he so angry? It seems that the track is a story of a person who is having a hard time in a beautiful place. Anyway, Anaksunamun is a bass-heavy, electro power synth, stabs-laden, Progressive House track. But something is wrong; this track as all the ones before, share the same beat patterns even with the breaks and the fills, and the drops. It's like Aguizi and Fahim are producing on a template, the structure of the tracks is nearly the same; same ideas different sounds. The track has a break which introduces an oriental string instrument, but then again with the fill it's too much, and it undermines the drop, which was pretty cool in this track's case. The drop was simple, and the fill was heavy - not the best method to create a momentous track such as the intro implies. Especially in proggy tracks, it's usually the fill leading into a heavy drop, but instead Aguizi and Fahim built a heavy anticipation with the fill and lost momentum with a rather empty drop compared to the build up, reminiscent of old minimal House. But still another good listen and a good addition to any Progressive House listener or DJ's library. What stands out the most in 77 Voyagers is the slick percussion that appears through the break. The female vocal chants are not what one would go for in this time and age - then again the EP is called Echoes From The Past.
The whole album it seems is progressive, and that is in itself a statement - maybe the duo are showing their love to the old school genre. They have proven time and time again that they are talented craftsmen of the art with their previous chart topping releases, while with this release they haven't forfeited on the technical quality of the production and they showed at certain parts in a couple of tracks that they are academically informed when it comes to Progressive House.
All in all we give this album a seven out of ten in originality since it seemed that they were producing to a template, filling in the sounds on a pre planned sketch; an eight out of ten in creativity since they didn't bring in anything new to the Progressive House genre, utilising some very old school sounds and ideas yet still they managed to revive these sounds to a point where we were remembering through the tracks some very special moments we spent on the dance floor in the early 2000s; and a nine out of ten in sound quality since the sound of the tracks was pretty good showing that the boys have some good mastering techniques under their belts (assuming they mix and master their own work).
You can check out Aguizi and Fahim's Facebook page here.