The Egyptian Lover, a true Electro legend, King of the 808 beats & Baddest DJ, talks to Entropia, shares a killer unreleased dub version of “This That Old School” and remains burning hot!

– A few weeks after your blast performance in Athens, what taste have the Greek freaks left you and what memories can you recall from your previous visit, almost 10 years ago?

Greece has some of the most beautiful women in the world. As I was performing I saw the most beautiful women there in the front 4 or 5 rows and it hyped me up to do an even more amazing performance. The last time I was there was my first time in Athens and I had a great time as well. I most definitely have to come back more often to Greece. The Food is some of the best I ever had.

– Do you remember the very first time you set foot on stage? Where was it? Tell us a few things about the early days of The Egyptian Lover, Τhe Uncle Jamm’s Army and The Radio Crew .

The first time was at my High School DJing a lunch Dance. I was above everyone in a DJ booth and it felt good. Everyone treated me like a celebrity just by being in there. I then started DJing for Uncle Jams Army and the crowds grew larger and larger because they haven’t seen anything like me before. It was a new era in DJing. I also DJ’d at Club Radio with my 808 and that brought about a documentary “Breaking and Entering” from there I made a record with Uncle Jamm’s Army and then my solo record Egypt Egypt that blew up and I’ve been on the road since. It’s always a good feeling when you are up on stage. Rockin’ the crowd is my destiny.

The Egyptian Lover with Uncle Jamm’s Army, Early 80’s​

– What made you decide to launch your very own label, Egyptian Empire Records, and how did you decide to only put out the “Filthy” album, through NuBeat Records.

I sold Mix tapes at my High School with my own Raps on them and did pretty well for myself. I was only 16 years old with $500 to $1,000 in sales every week. So when I started making Records the only logical thing was to have my own record label. I put out “Filthy” on NuBeat Records because it was an album I was going to skip and do a greatest hits instead. But I was offered a lot of money to put it out on NuBeat so I did it. It was an album that almost didn’t see the turntables. I’m glad I put it out now, my fans like that album.

– On the “Platinum Pyramids” album there is a tune called “Keep it Hot”. Is Egyptian Lover burning hot in 2018?

Yes, like the Sun. You can feel me and my music all around this Planet. I keep it Hot!

– From “Computer Power” to “Future Computer” Jamie Jupitor was there! Tell us a few things about him and the role he played in the Egyptian Lover music throughout the decades.

My best friend Bo Brown is Jamie Jupiter and we love this style of music. He sometimes comes with me on Shows. We always have a good time when we are together. We actually came to Greece together the first time and we really enjoyed it.

The Egyptian Lover & Jamie Jupitor

The Egyptian Lover & Jamie Jupitor, Athens, Greece ’09 (Bios)

– What makes 808 Beats & Electro Funk sound timeless?

That 808 is an amazing drum machine. It is so futuristic that every song I make with it sounds like something from the future. I absolutely love everything about it. I still use it in my shows and the crowd loves the sound of it live. I guess that’s why they call me the king of the 808.

– Being a pioneer, how do you feel about the Electro scene of today and the plentiful, quality releases that keep coming out? Are new producers killin’ it?

I like a lot of it. I like the creativity of many electro producers. Some are new to it but get better with time. I hear them play and it’s ok but then years go by and then they are really good and keep getting better. Long Live Electro!

– Which is your favourite record store? Where do you buy records from?

Amoeba in Hollywood is really good. And right around the corner is The Record Parlour. Those are my hang out spots.

– Australian label Left Ear Records, is about to announce a brand new 12″ with “I’ m An Arabian Knight” tune from Shahara-Ja, remixed and reworked by you. How did this release come about ?​

I heard the song and just had to do a ReMix and re-release it. It’s a great song and people need to hear it.

– Maybe it’s pretty obvious, but where did you draw inspiration for “Belly Dance”?

I’ve liked watching girls dance since I can remember. So I decided to make an Electro Bellydance song for the future Belly Dancers. Now they can Keep it Hot!

– Is there any piece of equipment you desire to add next to your TR-808, SVC-350 Vocoder and Jupiter 8 synthesizer, for a future project?

Emulator II. Just wait till you hear 1985.

– How did it all start for the unique hand drawn cover art you make? Have you thought of organizing an exhibition? Is there any way the freaks can put their hands on these works of art?

An exhibition is coming soon. I’ve been drawing since I can remember. But when Peanut Butter Wolf saw a few covers he absolutely loved them and said “Man your Fans would love to own a piece of your Art” so I started drawing more and more and more. Now it’s time for an Art Show!

Unique covers collection, hand art by The Egyptian Lover

“Egyptian Robot shop”, hand art by The Egyptian Lover​

– Apart from a busy touring schedule, what else is in plan for the near future?

1985 Album Dropping on August 8 (808 Day) 2018.
International Freak Video.
Return to 1985 Video.
Another new album for all the Electro Freaks to lose their minds. It’s so good. So make sure you buy 1984 so you can have the full collection.

​The Egyptian Lover, Athens, Greece ’18​ (Temple)

The Egyptian Lover Pages: Discography | Bandcamp | Facebook | YouTube

Photoshoot: Kat Yan, Ifigenia Kortesi

William Oneyabor, Groove Preacher :: An Unsolved Puzzle

There is a shadow of doubt in Onyeabor’s life story which had never been cleared. All that was known for sure is that he released a few albums, on his own Wilfilms label. Beyond that there were only rumours. Had he really studied cinematography in Moscow? Did the film, for which his 1977 debut LP “Crashes in Love” was the soundtrack, exists? How he found the money to set up a fully equipped studio? Was he a spy for the Russians? Why he never performed live? Who are the musicians that accompanied him in his recordings? Truly, no one shed light on this enigmatic figure. His life remained private and reclusive.

Onyeabor was born, 26 March 1946, in Enugu, Nigeria, into a poor family, but became financially successful enough to travel to Europe to study record manufacturing (?). Some biographies claim that he studied cinematography in Russia. By the late 70s he could afford to fund his own recording studio, record label, pressing plant and film company.

He was later crowned a High Chief in Enugu, where he lived as a businessman working on government contracts (?) and running his own semolina flour mill. His business successes saw him named West African Industrialist of the Year in 1987. In the early 1990s, he became the president of Enugu’s Musician’s Union and chairman of the city’s local football team, the Enugu Rangers.

Onyeabor self-released nine albums between 1977 and 1985 and then became a born-again Christian, deeply religious –later he was ordained as a pastor – and influential in the local community, with a paranoid dedication to secrecy that extended to people who knew him. He lived in a flamboyant white mansion, almost like a temple, apparently unchanged since the 1980s, refusing to ever speak about himself or his music again. Nobody wanted to get on his bad side.

He create unique music described sometimes as heavy rhythmical, driven by funky synthesizers, -no other African musician was using synthesizers back then,- occasionally epic in scope and his conscious lyrics and messages for equality and love or decrying war. Singing, almost preaching sometimes, Onyeabor himself and unknown female backing vocalists. The musicians that participate in his recordings it’s another question. Probably he created an in- house band for his studio.

William was an expert in composing music and inventive in studio techniques. A few other African bands or artists trust him and took part in Wilfilms Records roster, like Ofu-Obi Social Club, Pete Baja, Dibson & Essody, Uncle Victor Chukwu and Anambra Brothers, Jaamike Zeluwa, Obidike International Band. Sometimes he was adding or playing synthesizers in some recordings, like N’Draman Blintch’s “Cikamele”.

Onyeabor’s music wasn’t successful beyond Enugu until his 1985 hit “When the Going Is Smooth and Good,” a playful synthesizer driven jam, sound like a proto-techno gem. Even then, he refused to play live and disliked press attention. It was to be his last record. More vinyl from this mysterious man was hard to find, but some trickled in. A few record collectors and music aficionados knew the music of William Oneyabor.

In 2001 the Strut label featured 1978’s “Better Change Your Mind,” a song whose message is as relevant today as it was then, on its Nigeria 70 compilation. Other tracks emerged sporadically over subsequent years, before the Luaka Bop’s compilation. Most of what we know about Onyeabor is thanks to Luaka Bop’s people, while they were trying to collect around any information for him. “Who is William Oneyabor?” came out in 2013. Onyeabor’s music came to life, it was fresh and transcendent. Everyone felt it, but not himself.

He declined to promote the 3LP compilation, requiring neither money nor attention. For someone like Sixto Rodriguez, – after the documentary “Searching for Sugarman,” – gave him vindication and a second chance. In 2014 a documentary was out, by Noisey, called “Fantastic Man” – A Film About William Onyeabor, named after his song. But for Onyeabor, growing interest in the music he released during his career not moved him at all. Α series of live tribute shows took place, performed by the likes of David Byrne, Damon Albarn, Alexis Taylor, Lijadu Sisters and Ghostpoet.

In December 2014, he stated “I only create the type of music that would help the world” It was his first ever radio broadcast on the Lauren Laverne Show on BBC 6 Music. William Onyeabor has died on 16 January 2017, peacefully in his sleep at his home at the age of 70, following a short illness. His surprising and groundbreaking music, creating anything that sounded similar, were all way ahead of their time. At the time of his death he was more popular and influential than he had ever been but he remained to the end one of music’s most unsolved puzzles.

Francis Bebey :: Nonaligned Spirit

Francis Bebey (real name Francisco Birago Diop) was born in the Cameroonian port of Douala on July 15, 1929. The son of a Protestant minister, grew up surrounded by literature and music. Apparently able to play any instrument he got his hands on, from the guitar to sanza or pygmy flute. He was an artist in the deepest meaning of the word, musician and writer, one of Africa’s most famous personas. He was the man who dug into his roots and made them bloom, to be admired by everyone. Many consider him as the father of world music.

He started as a guitarist in a band while he was a teenager in Cameroon. His greatest influence was classical guitarist virtuoso Andrés Segovia. Later attended a college in Douala, where he studied mathematics. In the mid-1950s he moved to Paris to study music at the Sorbonne. There, disappointed by what he saw towards African culture, he came up with his plan – to use Western technology with the combination of African instruments to spread African culture. After attend the University of New York, where he continued his studies in journalism and broadcasting. He moved to Ghana at the invitation of Kwame Nkrumah and took a job as a broadcaster. In 1960 moved again to Paris, where he worked at various radio stations and later recruited by UNESCO to research and document, as a consultant, the traditional African music.

Francis continued to perform guitar recitals throughout his years of employment. He never stopped composing his own music, earning a notice of his poetic lyrics and his expressive voice. He was singing in Duala, English, and French which gave him advance to approach wider audiences. By 1967, he gave several performances around Africa, Paris and New York. His first recordings were released by Ocora. It was a 10”, which included two pieces of guitar solos.

Bebey wrote poetry, novels and nonfiction works. His first novel, “Le Fils d’ Agatha Moudio”, was published in 1967 and remains his best known work. The critics found the work a well crafted masterpiece and won the Grand Prix Litteraire de l’ Afrique Noire. The following year, “Embarras et Cie: Nouvelles et Poèmes” – nine short stories, each accompanied by a poem – was published. In addition to exploring childhood and adult experiences, he also wrote tales taken from the African tradition. In 1979, he published a well-researched book about African music, “Musique De l’ Afrique.” Bebey claimed that his experience in radio stations influenced the style of his stories, which was directed to the listeners rather than the readers. In 1974, he left his job to focus on music and writing.

He even created his own label, called Ozileka, in order to release his recordings. Bebey released about twenty albums over his career and helped launch the career of others, like Manu Dibango. He remained committed to the arts until his death on May 28, 2001 in Paris. His music can described as an amalgam of traditional African music with Latin American influences and a Western glimpse. His music was, almost, in guitar-based compositions, with the addition of traditional African instruments, like sanza or mbira, and synthesizers or keyboards.

What’s really remarkable is the loose, non aligned spirit that runs through his music. He was composing, performing and even recording by himself, a one man band, difficult to realize it while hearing his recordings. After all, he was satisfying his creative side more than he was creating music for the masses. Bebey did everything through art, which aims to promote the values of Black culture. His songs are mostly sound like jams or freakouts, aural paintings more than proper compositions. So out of this world but earthly at the same time.

Adrian Sherwood, A Unique Sonic Vision :: Disturbing The Comfortable, Comforting The Disturbed

Adrian Maxwell Sherwood was born in January 20, 1958, London, UK. He is a record producer, specializing in the genres of dub music and EDM. Sherwood has created a distinctive production style based on the application of dub effects and dub mixing techniques to EDM tracks as well as mainstream songs. As someone who considers himself tone deaf, the producer focuses on making sounds and noises rather than melody. Sherwood has worked extensively with a variety of reggae artists as well as the musicians Keith LeBlanc, Doug Wimbish and Skip McDonald. As a producer, Adrian has worked with The Slits, The Fall, Sinead O’Connor and more. His remix credits include Depeche Mode, Afrika Bambaataa, Blur, Primal Scream, Air and Peaking Lights.

Within his role as a record producer, he has worked with a variety of record labels. Sherwood was co- founder of Carib Gems and Pressure Sounds, and founder of Hitrun Records as well as Green Tea Records and Soundboy Records. In 1979, he founded, a most well-known label, On-U Sound Records.

An iconic independent label with a treasure trove of remarkable music, sits in a unique position historically as a junction point between the heavy influence of Jamaican music on UK culture and the development of disparate sounds such as post-punk, hip-hop, industrial, jungle, dubstep and beyond. Key On-U Sound artists include Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Dub Syndicate, African Head Charge, New Age Steppers, Tackhead, Singers & Players – including Prince Far I, Mikey Dread, Bim Sherman and many others, – this helped promote the individual artists at the same time as promoting the record label. On-U Sound has released over 100 albums and singles and launched the careers of countless artists.

He made contributions to the industrial genre in his remix of Einstürzende Neubauten’s song “Yü Gung” on the album Halber Mensch, as well as his production work with Ministry, Cabaret Voltaire, KMFDM, Terminal Power Company and Nine Inch Nails. Sherwood has also dug into the blues, producing Little Axe’s Real World Records release Champagne & Grits in 2006.

In 2003, Sherwood released his first album as a solo artist, Never Trust a Hippy, which featured collaborations with various artists such as Sly & Robbie, Steven “Lenky” Marsden, Carlton “Bubblers” Ogilvie and Jazzwad. His second album Becoming a Cliché, released in 2006, again with numerous artists such as Lee “Scratch” Perry, the late Bim Sherman, Dennis Bovell, Little Roy, Lee “LSK” Kenny, Samia Farah, Raiz and Mark Stewart.

On beginning a solo career, Sherwood stated, “I wanted to do some of my own writing and make something that was challenging for me… As a producer, it’s my job to satisfy the artist foremost. I wanted to make something that was a little more aggressive and modern. I wanted to paint a picture that was contemporary, one that specifically showed where my brain was at. I’ve got to the point in my life where it’s time for me to call all of the shots”.

Sherwood also produced the original score for the 2006 independent film, Johnny Was. Since 2015, Adrian has been recording with dubstep artist, Pinch, having released two albums under the moniker “Sherwood and Pinch”. There is also a major project underway to reissue and reappraise the amazing back catalogue of classic records that have been released on the imprint, which was recently instigated with the release of Sherwood At The Controls Volume 1 and 2, a compilation highlighting some crucial early tracks and unreleased gems from the tape vaults.

Falling into DJing purely through chance, Sherwood brings his own enthusiasm to the fore, being widely respected as one of the most important figures in the modern scene. In 2016 and 2017, Sherwood appeared in festivals including Outlook, Dimensions, Dekmantel, Dour, Terraforma and performed with Massive Attack, in 2018, he is touring Australia and New Zealand. In Saturday 10 th of February, Sherwood will be guest in SNFCC, in Athens, a talk with the audience will take place before the DJ set.