Thebes Productions: The Land: Chapter One
Dance & Electronica
Land: Chapter One may be Thebes Productions’ first
compilation album, but that should not breed any commentary on its status as
possibly the leading purveyor of dance music in Egypt. Any organisers that
can bring David Guetta to the Egyptian shores must have something going for them. With
over thirty active DJs, producers, vocalists and musicians on their books, it’s
a wonder that anyone questions the popularity of the genre.
The Egyptian record
label brings both local and international artists from around the world to the
dance scene in Egypt, and through The
Land: Chapter One, they have brought them together on one record. The album couldn’t have come at a better time,
with dance music filling the airwaves and nightclubs.
The two-minute intro is duly named ‘The
Land’, and isn’t attributed to any artist; just Thebes. It’s an apt
atmospheric desert-fused track in which the vocals threaten to break into
words, but never do, all the while toning viscerally.
British DJ Mikey Gallagher takes us into
the nitty-gritty of the album with the help of songstress Ayah, as she
proclaims ‘Here I go again/ Falling in love’. The playful melancholy of the
piano melody makes ‘Your Love’ as suitable for a car drive as it is for an
end-of-night dance floor closer.
Producer Aslam breaks the album into a
deeper dance beat on ‘Baby You Know’ with the help of classically trained
Brazilian opera singer Candy Belotto in a song that is less straining on her
voice, before Abu Samra continues in the same vain with ‘In a Blink of an Eye’.
One of the highlights comes in the form of Hurghada
native DJ Marvel Child and Aliyah with ‘Part of Me’, which retains a strain and
an intensity through the slightly distorted vocals using different pitches very
subtly without diminishing its cool, chill-out vibe.
Production duo Nightglows take you back to
dance music circa the 1990s with ‘Immortality’, and as the first vocal-free song,
it’s a nice break to the routine. Singer/songwriter Shehab Kasseb lends his
vocals on Naughty Pharaoh’s ‘Feeling Alive’. It’s a darker track with a
baseline that sounds like something out of a late 70s rock song, and Kasseb
actually steals the show with his distinctive voice.
DJ Kopin’s ‘Live Your Life’ creeps up on
you as the follow-up, but it’s the song that will make you get up and start
throwing shapes; a low base, hard beats and soft sensual vocals by Australian
singer/songwriter Marta Taylor. It has all the dips, turns and climaxes of a
perfect dance floor number.
Amr Aly and Abu Samra pull measures back to
a chill with ‘Olesya’, before Moe G enlists Darine for her vocals on ‘Far Away’
as the album winds down.
As the cream of the Thebes Productions
crop, this collection of songs is on a par with any of its kind. Dance music is
one of the few types of music that really can transcend and translate without
ever losing that personal touch. This may be more suited to veteran dance
palettes, but it isn’t a bad place to start off with for virgin ears; we’re
already waiting for chapter two.