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Clara Borrelli

Selections: ABADIR

In this series, Selections, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their collections. This week, ahead of his new album on SVBKVLT, Cairo’s ABADIR spotlights experimental electronic gems for the club and home listening alike

​​ABADIR returns to SVBKVLT this month with a new album, ‘Ison’. Following his feverishly percussive ‘Mutate’ LP from 2022, the Cairo producer’s latest 10-tracker takes a decidedly less dancefloor-focused route, inspired by his youth spent visiting various churches with his family, and the chants and choral hymns that he heard in them. Using samples of Coptic, Syriac, Maronite, Greek Orthodox and Catholic choirs, ABADIR designs a personal take on this music, replete with chiming synths, glitching sound designs and thunderous drums.

Speaking about the album, ABADIR said: “I present my own vision of what can be described as fresh hymns, fictional chants, or parts of a contemporary Sunday mass… This is not representational. This is not a cultural relic for the exoticizing gaze. This is purely personal; a fictional sound rooted in the present.”

Though the sounds of ‘Mutate’ – which spliced elements of jungle, dancehall, Jersey Club and footwork with Arabic rhythms and instrumentation – and ‘Ison’ are very different, ABADIR has clarified that both follow a similar approach of using the cultural surroundings of his home country to explore new, mutated sonic terrain. “If Mutate’s clubby vibe was made “to make the floor burn”, Ison is intended to cure last night’s hangover,” he said.

Both of these energies are encapsulated in ABADIR’s Selections, which encompass experimental electronic gems for the club and home listening alike. Dive in below.

Tim Hecker
‘Love Streams’ [Paper Bag Records]

“I’ve listened to this album hundreds of times. It’s one of the biggest influences on my music and I find it a very smart take when it comes to working with a choir and classical music elements.”

Oneohtrix Point Never
'Age Of’ [Warp Records]

“The most solid OPN album. Simple ideas crafted with crazy sound design, which turns them into a cinematic masterpiece. The choice of instruments is just on point.”

Luis Pestana
‘Rosa Pano’ [Orange Milk Records]

“This album has a brilliant epic sense. It’s great that there are still some artists like Pestana not shying away to make an emotionally charged album like this. It’s also the perfect meeting point of classical and electronic music.”

‘Intimate Publics’ [SVBKVLT]

“I remember my reaction when I first read the album description: “This is a real honest work”. This album has a very unique sound, especially the percussive and vocal elements. One of the few club albums with a long lasting effect.”

Kelman Duran
‘Night In Tijuana’ [SCORPIO RED]

“This was a big twist and I like artists who flip their audience’s expectations. ‘Night In Tijuana’ has a wide spectrum of influences, but Kelman is putting them all in in a very subtle way. It’s one of my favourite winter albums.”

Second Woman
‘S/W’ [Editions Mego]

“Weird but still familiar, minimal but rich and full of details. They made exponential rhythms very accessible in this album and that was inspiring for me.” 

‘Now That’s What I Call Yelzin’ [Petrola 80]

“I don’t know how many times I wished this EP to be a full-length album. Very well produced, highly dynamic and I love how the synth sounds are shaped. It works so well in a club or simply at home.”

Space Afrika
‘Honest Labour’ [Dais Records]

“While many producers during lockdown kept on moving fast with their futuristic themes, Space Afrika focused more in the present by making an incredible lockdown album, and that made total sense for me. Definitely a classic and marks the continuity of Massive Attack’s ‘Blue Lines’ and Burial’s ‘Untrue’.”

Maxwell Sterling
‘Turn of Phrase’ [AD 93]

“I think 2021 was a year full of gems, and Turn of Phrase is one of them. Every bar in this album is almost unpredictable. The beautiful melodies, the sound design and the unconventional rhythmic patterns make it easy to sense the big effort behind this album.”

Jan Jelinek
‘Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records’ [Faitiche]

“I think Mark Fisher forgot to include this album under the Hauntological umbrella, or maybe he didn’t listen to it. One of the albums that made me more interested in electronic music. I still appreciate its surgical minimal sound and the creative use of samples.”