Agglutinator and central agitator of the fertile scene that is, against all odds, surviving and inspiring in Cairo, Ahmed El Gazouly returns to Lisbon already with a justified status of star in the firmament of the most courageous electronics. ‘Terminal’, album released in 2018 by UIQ, pointed a lot of things to the future and sounds, even today, visionary in spirit and the way it truces and recreates from scratch genre canons to thence arrive at something truly unheard but still, deeply real. Making more vestigial the invocations to the track from previous EP’s like ‘Numbers’ or ‘Trigger Finger’, ‘Terminal’ creates a physical and mental space where field recordings, the spectral design of electro-acoustics fractal melodies and changing rhythmic spoils from years of listening to hip-hop, traditional Egyptian music or grime continuously expand and take refuge, in a line that would take diaristic contours with ‘One’, ZULI’s entry in Boomkat’s celebrated Documenting Sound series.
Without this movement indicating an abandonment of dance, and after having his laptop stolen and losing the whole collection of sounds, ideas and the pre-masters of an EP we will never hear, ZULI reemerges from this tragic memory to reappear with an arsenal of bangers already last year with ‘All Caps’, again by UIQ. In what is perhaps his most direct album, coordinates of jungle, footwork, grime and other ancestral polyrhythms are reconfigured again for the future, without revisionist hits but with full respect and knowledge for that legacy. In this continuum, ZULI carries on the Aquarius transformed track his profusion of languages and destitution of norms for a dj set that is as infectious as it is able to open horizons. At ease. BS