There are two sides to Cairo-based DJ and producer Hassan Abou Alam's sonic output. While one focuses on the ambient and atmospheric, the other is a form of organised chaos, that matches both synthetic and analogue sound.
These creations have landed on several labels over the last few years including Cologne's Traum Schallplatten, Audiolith and Morocco's Casa Voyager, as well as a very well received debut on Violet's naivety imprint, a sub-label of naive. Local label Rakete was another space for him this year, with him contributing a track to their Quest compilation, before making a return earlier this month for his first solo EP on the imprint, the aptly named Hope Amid Despair.
Following the release, we handed over the reigns to him for this week's Shine A Light On mix, which moves through the spaces between house, breaks, grime and bass. Get yourself acquainted...
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you
Hello :) my name is Hassan Abou Alam, I make music and last time I checked, I'm still human *Sigh*
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
Well, I have many sides. I have a very chilled ambient side that makes you feel like you're all alone in a rainforest somewhere.
I also have a side with my music that sounds like chaos. Slightly apocalyptic (could be oddly soothing sometimes)
I've attached GIFs of what they represent
Where was the mix recorded?
In a dream.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
For me, it's while driving! But at the end, the ideal setting is wherever/however you want it to be :) I heard it works great while chilling on a big grey cloud somewhere.
What should we be wearing?
Big fluffs of cloud.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
I've always wanted to perform on a big grey fluffy cloud. I want the sound to be coming out of nothing from all directions. I like clouds.
Also, there's a game called Bloodborne, the Hunter's Dream looks like a nice place to perform at.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Hmmm this is a tough one, I think it would probably be the Chevel remix for ZULI's Trigger Finger.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
I don't know about my all time favourite, but recently I've been listening to this mix by DJ Python called laurel's writing mix. It's ambient and so soothing... It's my latest shower mix!
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Technically speaking, Thom Yorke is a DJ. Yes, I love Thom Yorke.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
I first got 2 CDJs 400, and a DJM 400 mixer about 15 years ago. I loved them. I sold them when I got really into making music because I started using them a lot less (they were just sitting there collecting dust) and invested into a lot of instruments and gear. Now it's all just drum machines, pedals synthesizers, samplers and some weird machines that make weird sounds :)
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
The one you start with! The mood you start with has to be just right!
What were the first and last records you bought?
First record I really don't remember at all, but just checked my bandcamp, the last one I brought was Reinartz' Between, which is in the mix :)
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
Lead (Please don't try to eat lead)
If it was an animal what would it be?
A hybrid of a Sloth and a panther. (Yes, take a moment to imagine how that would look like)
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Hmmm I listen to a lot of weirdly timed music everyday! Most of it is unmixable haha
Upcoming in the world of ...
Linking the fire? (If you know, you know)
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