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Middle East Trance

The Middle East is not exactly where you'd expect to find trance raves. But Eqyptian DJ duo Aly & Fila are working hard to promote the region's trance scene.

Aly & Fila
Happy bunch: Aly & Fila

Egypt may not be the first place you think of as a hotbed of trance.

Egyptian duo Aly & Fila are working to change that perception.

Just missing out on this year's DJmag Top 100 DJs poll (slipping in at 130) the pair have been making music and playing gigs since 1999.

Their big break came in 2002 when their 'Eye of Horus' became a club smash.

Now with a sub-label of Offshore Music of their own to play with, is it the time for the pair to put the Middle East on the dance music map?

1. For those who don't know you, can you reveal a bit about yourself?



Aly & Fila
We make and play melodic and uplifting trance influenced by Paul van Dyk, Chicane and Thrillseekers.

We have been friends for a long time and have known each other since kindergarten.

We went to same school, we hung out at the same places and we enjoyed the same taste in music.

When started to make our own music and DJ our name became well known in
Egypt.

In 2002, we signed with Euphonic.

Our first release, 'Eye of Horus' received huge airplay from the likes of PvD, Armin Van Buuren and Tiësto.

After finishing our contract with Euphonic records, we met with Andy Prinz, a well known producer from Switzerland and owner of the prominent Offshore Music record label.

We decided to launch the first sub-label of Offshore in Egypt to promote fresh talents from the area.

Aly & Fila
Aly & Fila are part of a new wave of producers hailing from the Middle East
Our first release 'Spirit of Ka' has been played by van Dyk and Markus Schulz, who also remixed it.

2. How widespread is club culture in Egypt?



A few years ago, the scene was underground in Egypt and was really special.

Nowadays people only go to big events with big names.

The scene is wide spread in Cairo, Alexandria, Sharm el Sheikh and Hurgadah.

3. How do you see the state of the trance scene at the moment?



Aly and fila
Sun Block

The scene isn't dying like everyone is saying: it's saturated in some countries, but still being discovered in others

Aly and fila
Fila, trance DJ and producer
Aly and fila
The scene isn't dying like everyone is saying; it's saturated in some countries, but still being discovered in others, and even rediscovered in already saturated scenes.

We think that in the near future, vinyl pressing will be over and digital downloads will take over completely, which will help widen the spread of the scene.

4. What do you look for in a good trance track?



A good track is a good track. What makes it great is the dedication of the composer and his passion towards it.

We like attractive melodies in our tracks spiced up with energetic beats, to capture our fans' ears.

5. Trance music is often accused of being one of the more formulaic genres. How do you keep your sound fresh?



The most essential point is to update our studio with the latest equipments and plug-ins to ensure a wide variety of sounds.

We stay fresh by always challenging ourselves and trying to take it to the next level.

Collaborating with other artist is, in our opinion, the best way for brainstorming and innovating, after all, sharing is caring!

We are working currently on our first collaboration with Thomas Datt (a great producer and a good friend) and we are really looking forward to hearing the results.

6. Do you prefer production or DJing?



Production and DJing are two different pleasures and I love to experience both.

7. Where is your favourite place to DJ?



We love the Street Parade in Zurich and the amazing Nature One festival in Germany.

The Gallery in London and Amnesia in Ibiza are definitely the places to spin.

8. Have you ever had any fans doing crazy things out of sheer love for you?



There was this one time when the crowd did not want us to stop playing and some of the fans came up on stage and stopped us from leaving!

It took the security half an hour to take us out.

www.alyandfila.com