Events

Mon 22
  • Karaoke Night at Amici Heliopolis
    Karaoke Night at Amici Heliopolis
    Dec 22 7:00 pm to Dec 23 2:00 am - Amici
    Now a staple of Cairo's eclectic nightlife, Amici invites all to enjoy a night of Japan's greatest export, karaoke. For more information...
  • Hisham Zahran & Aly Goede at Cairo Jazz Club
    Hisham Zahran & Aly Goede at Cairo Jazz Club
    Dec 22 10:00 pm to Dec 23 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    A huge night of music awaits, as Nacelle residents, Hisham Zahran and Aly Goede, play back-to-back at Cairo Jazz Club. Reservations at Cairo Jazz...
  • $$$TAG$$$ & Friends [Fundraiser] at VENT
    $$$TAG$$$ & Friends [Fundraiser] at VENT
    Dec 22 9:00 pm to Dec 23 2:00 am - VENT
    VENT welcomes $$$TAG$$$ back to the stage for a special fundraiser for the International People's Project. For more information, call...
  • Karaoke Night at Gabriel
    Karaoke Night at Gabriel
    Dec 22 7:00 pm to Dec 22 11:00 pm - Gabriel
    Gaudy Mohandiseen restaurant, Gabriel, gets rowdy with another Monday night session of karaoke. For reservations, call 01027900004.
  • 'Amahl & the Night Visitors' Opera at El Gomhouria Theatre
    'Amahl & the Night Visitors' Opera at El Gomhouria Theatre
    Dec 22 8:00 pm to Dec 22 11:00 pm - El Gomhouria Theatre
    Join the Cairo Opera Company as they perform a rendition of the 'Amahl and the Night Visitors' at El Gomhouria Theatre. Tickets are 15LE,...
Tue 23
  • Bluezophrenia & Raindogs at Cairo Jazz Club
    Bluezophrenia & Raindogs at Cairo Jazz Club
    Dec 23 10:00 pm to Dec 24 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    Join Bluezophrenia as they deliver the blues with just enough rock 'n' roll to get you on your feet, before Tom Waits cover band, the...
  • Nadah El Shazly at VENT
    Nadah El Shazly at VENT
    Dec 23 10:00 pm to Dec 24 2:00 am - VENT
    The uber-talented Nadah El Shazly performs at Downtown's VENT. For more information, call 0225747898.
  • Karaoke Night at Johnny's West
    Karaoke Night at Johnny's West
    Dec 23 7:00 pm to Dec 24 2:00 am - Johnny
    It takes a little Dutch courage to go up and sing in front of an entire crowd and luckily, at Le Pacha 1901 West, Johnny's will provide all...
  • 'Amahl & the Night Visitors' Opera at El Gomhouria Theatre
    'Amahl & the Night Visitors' Opera at El Gomhouria Theatre
    Dec 23 8:00 pm to Dec 23 11:00 pm - El Gomhouria Theatre
    Join the Cairo Opera Company as they perform a rendition of 'Amahl and the Night Visitors' at El Gomhouria Theatre. Tickets are 15LE, 25LE...
  • Cairo Conservatoire Concert at Cairo Opera House
    Cairo Conservatoire Concert at Cairo Opera House
    Dec 23 8:00 pm to Dec 23 10:00 pm - Cairo Opera House
    The Cairo Conservatoire has produced some of Egypt's most talented, classically trained musicians. Catch the next generation as current...
Wed 24
  • Tarek Refaat at Cairo Opera House
    Tarek Refaat at Cairo Opera House
    Dec 24 8:00 pm to Dec 24 10:00 pm - Cairo Opera House
    Egyptian pianist, Tarek Refaat, performs in the Small Hall of Cairo Opera House. Tickets are 20LE and are available at the Cairo Opera House...
  • Christams Eve Above it All at Windows on the World
    Christams Eve Above it All at Windows on the World
    Dec 24 8:00 pm to Dec 25 1:00 am - Windows On The World
    Boasting on of the best views of Cairo, Ramses Hilton's Windows on the World hosts a special Christmas Eve five-course dinner with live...
  • Christmas Eve at Floor 10
    Christmas Eve at Floor 10
    Dec 24 8:00 pm to Dec 25 2:00 am - Floor 10
    Enjoy a tantalizing Christmas Eve meal in Floor 10 and celebrate the joy of Christmas. For more information, call 0227980000.
  • Boogie Woogie Xmas with DJ Ramy at Cairo Jazz Club
    Boogie Woogie Xmas with DJ Ramy at Cairo Jazz Club
    Dec 24 10:00 pm to Dec 25 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    Santa takes a detour through boogie town this Christmas with DJ Ramy on the decks at CJC. Reservations at Cairo Jazz Club are recommended; call...
  • DJ Mano & kidmims; at the Tap
    DJ Mano & kidmims; at the Tap
    Dec 24 9:00 pm to Dec 25 2:00 am - The Tap
    Maadi bar, the Tap, welcomes DJs, Mano and kidmims; for a special Christmas Eve party. For reservations, call 010 160 00558.
Thu 25
  • Christmas Funk with Tito by Nacelle at the Tap
    Christmas Funk with Tito by Nacelle at the Tap
    Dec 25 9:00 pm to Dec 26 2:00 am - The Tap
    Maadi bar, the Tap, and Nacelle team up for a special Christmas party that will see Tito provide the 'funk. For reservations, call 010 160...
  • A Merry Rockin' Xmas with The Cadillacs at Cairo Jazz Club
    A Merry Rockin' Xmas with The Cadillacs at Cairo Jazz Club
    Dec 25 10:00 pm to Dec 26 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    Rock the night away with local favourites, the Cadillacs, and their infectious rockabilly tunes. All proceeds go to charity. Reservations at...
  • A Very Semiramis Christmas at InterContinental Cairo Semiramis
    A Very Semiramis Christmas at InterContinental Cairo Semiramis
    Dec 25 8:00 pm to Dec 26 2:00 am - InterContinental Cairo Semiramis, Garden City, Cairo
    Garden City hotel, InterContinental Cairo Semiramis, hosts a special Christmas party in the Cleopatra Ballroom, where Nancy Ajram, Poussy and Dina...
  • Christmas Day at Oak Grill
    Christmas Day at Oak Grill
    Dec 25 7:00 pm to Dec 25 11:00 pm - Oak Grill
    Conrad Cairo Hotel's award-winning restaurant, Oak Grill, marks Christmas Day with a special set-menu and a live violinist. 400LE all...
  • AMR* + Ühm at VENT
    AMR* + Ühm at VENT
    Dec 25 10:00 pm to Dec 26 3:00 am - VENT
    Join AMR* and Ühm as they unleash a night of techno and groovey house at Downtown Cairo's VENT. For more information, call 0225747898
Fri 26
  • Season to be Naughty at Cairo Jazz Club
    Season to be Naughty at Cairo Jazz Club
    Dec 26 10:30 pm to Dec 27 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    DJ Mohasseb and sibling DJ duo, Gawdat, take over the decks at CJC with their progressive and tech house sets for a distinctly naughty Christmas...
  • 'The Nutcracker' at Cairo Opera House
    'The Nutcracker' at Cairo Opera House
    Dec 26 8:00 pm to Dec 26 11:00 pm - Cairo Opera House
    'The Nutcracker' remains one of the most popular ballets to date, telling the story of little Clara and her attachment to a Nutcracker...
  • Christmas Friday Brunch at Solana
    Christmas Friday Brunch at Solana
    Dec 26 12:00 pm to Dec 26 5:00 pm - Solana
    Cairo Conrad Hotel coninues the Christmas festivities with a special Friday brunch and a live jazz band at Solana. 250LE inclusive of taxes per...
  • Kolthoumiat at Arabic Music Institute
    Kolthoumiat at Arabic Music Institute
    Dec 26 8:00 pm to Dec 26 10:00 pm - Arab Music Institute
    Commemorating Om Kalthoum, Kolthoumiat will perform a classical Arabic music set in the Arabic Music Institute this evening. Tickets are available...
  • Cairo Opera Children Choir at Cairo Opera House
    Cairo Opera Children Choir at Cairo Opera House
    Dec 26 6:00 pm to Dec 26 8:00 pm - Cairo Opera House
    The Cairo Opera Children Choir perform in the Open Air Theater of the Cairo Opera House. Tickets are available at the Cairo Opera House...
Sat 27
Sun 28
  • 'The Nutcracker' at Cairo Opera House
    'The Nutcracker' at Cairo Opera House
    Dec 28 8:00 pm to Dec 28 11:00 pm - Cairo Opera House
    'The Nutcracker' remains one of the most popular ballets to date, telling the story of little Clara and her attachment to a Nutcracker...
  • Zeinab Al Sageny Exhibition at Zamalek Art Gallery
    Zeinab Al Sageny Exhibition at Zamalek Art Gallery
    Dec 14 10:30 am to Jan 05 9:00 pm - Zamalek Art Gallery
    Showing at Zamalek Art Gallery 'Venue I', Zeinab Al Sageny's newest exhibition draws on both Coptic and Islamic imagery in...
  • 'Kids Fun' Exhibition at Zamalek Art Gallery
    'Kids Fun' Exhibition at Zamalek Art Gallery
    Dec 14 10:30 am to Jan 05 9:00 pm - Zamalek Art Gallery
    Showing at Zamalek Art Gallery 'Venue II', Khaled Sorour's colourful exhibition, 'Kids Fun', sees the artist draw inspiration...
  • 'The Sequence of Face' at Gallery Misr
    'The Sequence of Face' at Gallery Misr
    Dec 07 11:30 am to Jan 07 9:00 pm - Gallery Misr
    Zamalek's Gallery Misr hosts exhibition, 'Sequence of Face', from Egyptian artist and Accademia di Belle Arte in Roma alumni,...
  • 'Surrounding Memories' at Al Masar Gallery
    'Surrounding Memories' at Al Masar Gallery
    Nov 30 10:00 am to Dec 31 8:00 pm - Al Masar Gallery
    Zamalek's Al Masar Gallery hosts the latest exhibition of Omar El Nagdi, 'Surrounding Memories', which sees the artist put...

Highlights

Restaurants

Pastamania: Simple Italian Dishes at Downtown Katameya Mall Restaurant

Pastamania: Simple Italian Dishes at Downtown Katameya Mall Restaurant

Cairo's dining scene is, by no stretch of the imagination, lacking whatsoever when it comes to the number of venues offering Italian cuisine – how many serve authentic versions of it is another story altogether. Peculiarly, Pastamania is actually a Singaporean restaurant chain and has existed quite inconspicuously in New Cairo's Downtown Katameya Mall. The restaurant doesn't exactly stand out from the outside due to its overall basic appearance. On the inside, however, the place does feel quite cosy and relaxing; we couldn't shake off the feeling that it's one of those family-friendly venues.  Our waiter, upon seating us on the spot, laid down the menus before us and offered his assistance in helping us pick a dish. The menu covers all the Italian basics; familiar appetisers, pasta variations, pizza, Panini sandwiches and a few dessert options. It's simple and straightforward menu that largely avoids using overly pretentious names and complicating things. Perhaps the most authentic items include the Bruschetta (12LE), Aglio Olio (20LE), Beef Lasagne (45LE) and the Mushroom and Spinach Gorgonzola (35LE). We placed our order, making a few alterations to the dishes, and our waiter kindly obliged to promise our food's arrival in a few minutes. Fortunately, the food did arrive a few minutes later, taking a tiny bit longer than expected, but it did, however, arrive looking sizzling and fresh. The Pesto (penne) Pasta (40LE) came in an ample amount and the distinctive garlic taste in the sauce would have been quite delightful had the dish not lacked more toasted pine nuts; subsequently, it left the garlic to dominate the sauce. The Pollo Al Forno (73LE), however, was lip-smackingingly good; the chicken breast was grilled to perfection and the side of vegetables that came with it were well-seasoned and surprisingly bursting with flavour. All in all, Pastamania proved to be quite a charming, if basic, eatery that would amply satisfy a mild craving for some Italian cuisine. Sure, they don't delve much into more complicated Italian dishes, but the efficient service and tasty dishes they do offer definitely make up for that.

Shopping

Nefertari: All-Natural Body Care Chain's Latest Branch in Mohandiseen

Nefertari: All-Natural Body Care Chain's Latest Branch in Mohandiseen

Shopping in Cairo is beset with traps and misguided information – none more so than when it comes to health and beauty products. Even with international brands, the label of '100% natural' is very often inaccurate. Despite the influx of said international brands, one local enterprise continues to, against all odds, trump them: Nefertari. The chain continues to grow both in popularity and branches, the latest of which is in Mohandiseen. The venue is quite spacious – bigger than its Zamalek and Dokki shops, for example – and the items are laid out in such a way that you can browse very comfortably. At the time of our visit, we were immediately attracted to a box that held three organic Egyptian cotton white towels with Pharaonic motifs (79LE) and another with two bars of soap and a small towel with an eye of Horus design (54LE) – both suitable for simple, unfussy gifts. Of the larger collections was a basket with several products, all with the same scent at 245LE. The second collection of items that tempted us were cotton products, starting with plain cream-coloured towels that come in three sizes at 10LE, 40LE, and 104LE respectively. We also spotted more intricately made towels, like a replica of the 40LE medium towel but with crochet edges (65.50LE), and another with a depiction of Queen Nefertari for 22LE. The collection also offers bathrobes and cotton slippers. The soap collection comes in a diverse range of shapes and scents, with one of our favourites being a lavender and olive oil one. While the square-shapes and murky browns aren't the most attractive in appearance, the collection of four rosemary and olive oil scented soaps were actually quite enticing. One bar of soap costs 25LE and is relatively large. When it comes to the beauty products, the diversity is even bigger; they have everything from facemasks (39LE) to bath salts from Safaga (unscented 30LE, floral scented 35LE) and even lip balm (30LE) – though aid lip balm is a little too greasy to the touch. One thing that shoppers often forget is that Nefertari also stocks organic food like brown sugar (15LE), coconut oil (36LE), rose water and mint oil (16LE). There is still a certain barrier that local brands have to overcome – the poor reputation that has come to stand over them like a dark cloud has unfairly seeped across to brands like Nefertari. But if the Mohandiseen branch proves anything, it's that Nefaertari can hold its own against the increasing number of international brands – it's affordable, too.

Cafés

TBS - The Bakery Shop: Fresh Brunch at Sheikh Zayed's Arkan Plaza

TBS - The Bakery Shop: Fresh Brunch at Sheikh Zayed's Arkan Plaza

Brunch: the wonderful, yet slightly obscure to this region, concept of a meal that fits between breakfast and lunch. It's the perfect meal for lazy, laid back days and TBS, perhaps one of Egypt's finest bakery chains, seems to be the perfect place to feed our mid-day rumbling bellies. The branch at Sheikh Zayed's Arkan Plaza presents TBS's signature modern design of basic off-white and wooden brown colour scheme complimented by immaculate glass windows that allow the light to ever so brightly seep into the adequately sized bakery. The minute we walked in, our nostrils were gleefully attacked by the delicious scent of fresh baking and our eyes went straight to the fridges and displays boasting a wide array of edible eye-candy. Our server greeted us and waited patiently while we tried to make up our minds on what to order. With regards to what TBS has to offer, its menu is composed of many sweet and savoury croissant variations (7.75LE to 11.25LE/piece), alongside different types of baguettes, toast, tarts (9LE-12LE/piece), Danishes (9LE), muffins (7LE-9.50LE), cronuts (9.50LE), cookies, mini pizzas and donuts (8LE.25-10.50LE). TBS has also very recently launched some new pastry items including Raspberry and Blueberry tarts (12LE), the vegetable (10LE) and chicken (13.75LE tarts), as well as sun-dried tomato, spicy feta and mint feta puffs (8.25LE). You can also customize your own sandwich, by picking your own baguette and fillings. Of course, you can also enjoy a freshly-squeezed juice or some coffee with your treats. As you can see, the options are plentiful. After taking slightly too long to figure out what to choose, the server swiftly boxed and packaged everything neatly. The first bite we took was of the Multi Cereal Croissant (8.25LE), which tasted light, decadent and better than any white croissant we've ever had - healthy options can actually taste good, after all. After that, we dug our teeth into the Rix Milano (9.25LE), which is basically a dough-wrapped sausage, and it tasted just as fresh as the former. The Mini Pizza (7LE) was also quite delicious, though tasted very similar to the Rix Milano. The Almond Croissant (8LE) was quite delightful, sweet and topped with slivered Almonds, but needed a tad more filling, as did the Pain Au Chocolat (9.25LE). TBS seems to have successfully retained its quality whereever it has gone, with everything tasting exceptionally fresh. Moreover, the servers were, as always, welcoming and efficient and the place was spotless and neat, giving us all the more reason to come back.

Nightlife

L'Aubergine: Nightlife Favourite's Heliopolis Branch Fails to Measure Up to the Original

L'Aubergine: Nightlife Favourite's Heliopolis Branch Fails to Measure Up to the Original

For the longest time, bars in Cairo were predominantly, and maybe even justifiably, concentrated in the central areas of the capital, leaving residents of the city's outskirts, in places like 6th of October City, Heliopolis and even Maadi, to make an exhaustive trip into town – and an even more exhaustive trip back – in search of that thing we call nightlife. Two or so years or go, however, Heliopolis nightlife exploded (a little); one piece of the proverbial shrapnel that subsequently landed on a dark and sleepy stretch of Omar Ebn El Khattab Street was L'Aubergine. A longstanding favourite in Zamalek, the bar's move to Masr El Gedida was a risky one and, though it has stood strong since, there's a set of drawbacks that have led the bar to plateau. Said drawbacks are superseded by one – and it's a biggie: the fact that the sleek and aesthetically-clean bar does not have a license to serve imported spirits. No one has been a more ardent supporter of local industry than Cairo 360 and the #BuyLocal trend, but we'd be kidding ourselves if we try to apply this to alcohol. One way to get around this problem is to order a cocktail, which the L'Aubergine staff pull-off pretty well and, as the spirits are local, they're deliciously cheap. A classic whiskey sour (30LE) was served in generous amount and was chugged down pretty quickly. Two of the more peculiarly named cocktails produced mixed results, though. The Sexy Bitch (30LE) saw vodka, pineapple juice, blue curaçao and grenadine served in a tall glass, but was sickly sweet and too heavy on the pineapple. The Horny Paul (45LE), however, packed much more of a punch, thanks to its combination of vodka, tequila, rum and lemonade; it was sharp, tangy and surprisingly refreshing and you could taste all three spirits. Away from the cocktails, beers are between 30LE and 35LE – a safe and reasonably-priced choice. If you can overlook this imported-spirit-deficiency, then L'Aubergine is a pleasant, if unremarkable, bar where one can enjoy a casual drink with chums – at least that's what one would hope. Unlike the Zamalek branch's organically nonchalant atmosphere, L'Aubergine Heliopolis hovers over the idea of being a high-end lounge without really committing to it or any other personality. The decor is dark, cold, cool and demure – all acceptable attributes of a bar. But loud, inappropriately energetic and bass-ridden music, peculiar transparent cafe chairs and TV screens systematically jolt you out of getting comfortable. In fairness, the venue as a space is treated sensibly and you can find seclusion on the higher round tables and stools, but it's difficult to judge whether one should turn up in smart, tucked-in shirt or more casual attire.

Arts & Culture

Picasso Art Gallery: 'The Interplay of Marble, Stone &  Glass' by Ketty Abdel Malek

Picasso Art Gallery: 'The Interplay of Marble, Stone & Glass' by Ketty Abdel Malek

Art, in the broadest sense of the word, is a tricky thing. The finished product rarely communicates the process that produced it – none more so than with mosaic-work. It's not just a matter of sticking things next to other things; the influence of architecture means that between preliminary sketches and picking colours, to breaking up your medium and finally piecing it backing together, it's an art-form that is every bit as complex as it is fantastical. Despite its intricacy, it remains one of the oldest art forms and one that is still largely popular in art and architecture today. Egyptian artist, Ketty Abdel Malek, is one such practitioner of mosaic-work.  Having French Literature before moving into inking and sculpture, she eventually found her way to world of mosaics, which she studied in Rafina, Greece. She excelled in her pursuit in the art-form by freely using different types and colours of stones on a single canvas, unhindered by traditional schools of thought. Currently a member of the British Association for Modern Mosaic and the International Association for Contemporary Mosaics, she has been featured in numerous international galleries the last of which was the Museum of Contemporary Art in Macedonia. Her current exhibition, The Interplay of Marble, Stone and Glass, at Picasso Art Gallery, is split into two; the first contained a large number of medium-sized mosaics, tied together by a bright and almost cheerful colour palette. The works involve classical themes, but approached in a more contemporary sense. An example of this is a mosaic of the Virgin Mary carrying the baby Jesus, where the artist depicts the characters with Oriental facial features. Another piece that attracted our attention was a 100x70 piece titled Aton. Pharaonic reference aside, the portrait depicts the sun over the river Nile, using a mixture of dark blue tiles mixed with hot coloured tiles to depict the sun and life flowing from it. Abdel Malek hasn't only proved she is one of the big names in contemporary mosaic-work, she also exhibited classical pieces as well, including one very special piece titled Segada; translating to 'carpet' or 'rug', it's traditional in the sense of its motifs and symmetry. Though seemingly much simpler in conception than the other pieces, the intricacy and detail is no less. The second section contains collages made with very different mediums. The portraits are abstract in nature, but one can create harmony between the different shapes made from pieces of the same medium. One in particular stood out, with the use of black ink and splashes of brown paint combined with shreds of paper. This technique is employed several times through the exhibition and, although abstract than the mosaics, it still manages to be simple, lively and visually engaging.

Health & Fitness

Skin Säde: Expert Finnish Skin Clinic in 6th of October City

Skin Säde: Expert Finnish Skin Clinic in 6th of October City

While the pulsing neon lights and energetic pace of the capital provide an atmosphere that cultivates adventure, the arid winds and dense smog easily extinguish the verve of even the most zealous city dweller. The healthy balance of mind, body and spirit is an integral aspect to surviving Cairo and there's no better way than pampering the barrier that protects you from the harsh elements of the city. Skin Säde is a Finnish skin clinic that promotes natural and non-invasive treatments and facials that diagnose and provide skin with exactly what it needs. This attitude is what differentiates Skin Säde from other dermatology centers in the city. Located in the El Motameyaz District of 6th of October City, Skin Säde operates from a large villa shared with a dental clinic. After reserving over the phone, we walked into the beautifully decorated reception area and were immediately greeted by our selected clinician. The clinic has a framed 'menu' with all the provided facials from the Classic Facial Massage (100LE) to the more inclusive Lift BTX Facial (500LE). We were then led inside to the treatment room and given a general medical sheet to fill out and then told to remove any jewelry and loose clothing. We were left for a few minutes to soak up the relaxing atmosphere and soothing music. In addition to the warm environment, the tools and machines were impeccably organised and were either completely sterilised or used disposable parts. After getting comfortable in the plushy chair, our therapist began the Hydrating Facial (450LE) by first cleansing and removing make-up with a cleansing milk, then followed by a toning gel. The products used are all of the same line by renowned brand, Oxynergy Paris. After the cleansing process, our therapist began inspecting our skin under a light to assess the type and the following procedures required. Determining that our skin type was 'oily' and identifying the areas that need extraction, our therapist prepared a chemical peel with the active ingredients of salicylic and glycolic acid. She explained the difference between chemical and enzyme peels and how each is appropriate for a specific skin type. Talking us through each step, she assured us that the peel will cause a slight tingling and heat sensation that is completely normal and is no cause for alarm. After a few minutes, the peel was removed and the steaming process began. Used to open pores to prep the skin for the extraction process, the steam was kept at a comfortable distance and allowed for normal breathing. Including ozone in the steam, we were told that it would disinfect and soothe our skin after the chemical peel. When our pores were sufficiently opened, the extraction process commenced. Gentle and entirely delicate, our therapist expertly tended to our problem areas with extreme tact and dexterity. To close our pores after the extraction, a frequency machine was used. Completely painless and rather relaxing, the nozzle was made of a felt material and was used on the entire face. After the frequency machine, a serum was applied and a galvanic machine was used to aid the skin to completely absorb the serum. The final treatment was a luxurious shoulder massage using essential oils and a face massage using a collagen pack and, as our appointment was in the evening, a night cream. Comprehensive and professional, Skin Säde employs the most experienced skin therapists that we have personally encountered in the skin care industry. With reasonable prices and amazing packages, Skin Säde has a reputation built on honesty and professionalism.

Music

Tove Lo: Queen of the Clouds

Tove Lo: Queen of the Clouds

Singer-songwriter, Tove Nilsson, first made her way to everyone's ears with debut single, '(Habits) Stay High,' and now the twenty-seven year-old Swede, who was discovered by the iconic Max Martin, has just released her first studio album. Sweden has a fine history of producing unique pop; Abba aside, Swedish acts have successfully infiltrated UK and US charts in the past and continue to do so. The Cardigans were all the rage in the 90s and more recent examples include the Knife, the Concretes and Lykke Li who have all had varying success outside their homeland in the last decade. It's easy, then, to say that expectations are somewhat high for Ms Lo; but she meets them with aplomb. Queen of the Clouds is divided into three parts – 'The Sex', 'The Love' and 'The Pain' – with each narrating a different stage of a relationship.  The first section carries an edgy theme of carefree love and lust, riddle with risqué lyrics. 'My Gun' is unapologetically racy, 'I Like 'Em Young' is as daring as its title implies and 'Talking Body' is equally as unrepentant in its approach to sex. 'Time Bomb' opens the second chapter of the story and sets a different theme as the relationship teeters between love and incompatibility, with a piano intro leading to a fast-paced chorus. With tracks like 'Not on Drugs', the album finds a venn diagram-like space that is best described as Taylor Swift and Katy Perry after they've knocked back a dozen cans of Red Bull, with its endearingly basic-pop lyrics yet explosive, disco-inspired beats. The love affair crashes and burns in the third part of the album as Nilsson croons, "And then there's no good way to end things/ 'Cause it's ending, y'know?" in 'Thousand Miles' which features a more laid back, monotonic beat that allows her vocals to take centre stage. The album's lead single 'Habits (Stay High)' features in the last part and, alongside 'This Time Around', sees Lo at her angst-ridden best. For the many that were eager to find what else Tove Lo had in her musical armoury, this will not disappoint; the bustling brunette meets the expectations of the bold, raw take on pop that her early hype promised. Queen of the Clouds mixes fun, dance-friendlybeats, with grand choruses and edgy, soulful lyrics in a neat little, edible package.

City Life

BMW 2-Series Active Tourer: Revolutionising the MPV

BMW 2-Series Active Tourer: Revolutionising the MPV

The first ever MPV from BMW, the all-new 2-Series Active Tourer, is – in no uncertain terms – a game-changer.  Combining style and functionality, the German car manufacturer has revolutionised the traditional concept of a car for the family – because it's so much more. The 2-Series Active Tourer's significance in BMW's timeline is two-fold; it's both the first MPV and the first vehicle to utilise front-wheel drive – which it makes excellent use of both. For all the gobbledegook surrounding modern cars, 2-Series Active Tourer strips it all away for what is a dependable, steadfast and, most attractively for the streets of Cairo, versatile vehicle. In layman's terms, the advent of front-wheel driving makes for a much safer ride. The 2-Series Active Tourer gives much better traction as the weight of the engine helps give the car a much greater directional stability. It's an economical car, too; lighter in weight than most MPVs, The 2-Series Active Tourer is much more fuel efficient with a combined consumption of 4.9L/100KM. One of the characteristics that contribute to its fuel efficiency is the new Three-Cylinder Twin Turbo Power Engine which boasts a turbocharger, variable load control, direct injection and Valvetronic variable valve control. For Egypt's most ardent petrol-heads, this produces what BMW calls a "vivacious and sporty sound" and an outstanding 136hp. Visually, it's rather difficult to make an MPV look like anything other than an MPV. The 2-Series Active Tourer, however, retains BMW's DNA, further paying testament to its versatility and function as a cohort of a vehicle, of sorts, that is every bit as practical and driver-friendly as it is striking. Said practicality is reflected in almost everything there is to discover inside the car. Making great use of its space, comfort plays a huge factor; with a fully adjustable 40:20:40 rear seat bench, as well as a fully adjustable passenger seat that potentially allows drivers to load the car with anything to the length of up to 2.4 metres, the sheer amount of customisation, once again, makes it just as much comfortable ride as it is a joyful one – there's plenty of space for individual passengers, be it leg room or head room. Even the driver's seat has been conceived for both comfort and safety; elevated seating means that the driver has excellent forward visibility.  As has become standard with BMW, the dashboard controls are laid out for maximum efficiency and ergonomics and the driver will never have to take their eyes off the road. Using BMW's iDrive system, all functions are easily accessible and their easy and sophisticated usability are everything that has come to be expected of the BMW experience. The Highly innovative BMW Connected Drive offers limitless and seamless connectivity between the driver, his BMW and the outside world. Be it Facebook, Twitter or hundreds of web-radio stations, with the new 2 Series Active Tourer you're always connected. BMW has famously touted the phrase, 'The Ultimate Driving Experience', and with the 2-Series Active Tourer marking what could be a future trend for the manufacturer and setting the new benchmark for the premium compact class, what this car proves first and foremost is that you'll always feel like you're at the wheel of a premium BMW. Click here for more information.
Vote

Loading...

Win! State-of-the-Art illy Coffee Machine
Win! State-of-the-Art illy Coffee Machine