Baskot Lel Baltageyya

AKU 1044LP AKU 1044LP

Baskot Lel Baltageyya (which, loosely translated, means "Cookies for Thugs"), is a project headed by musician Adham Zidan and poet Anwar Dabbour. On the Egyptian band's debut album, Dabbour's colloquial Arabic lyrics paint visions of a world spinning into chaos, where reality often veers into absurdity. Zidan, who produced the album in addition to writing the music, harnesses the madness with serpentine melodies that mingle and dance over hypnotic grooves like a psychedelic version of ring-around-the-rosie. Zidan plays keyboards and sings in The Invisible Hands alongside Sublime Frequencies/Sun City Girls co-founder, Alan Bishop. He honed his own style of lo-fi folk on Today Is Tomorrow, and is now expanding his horizons even further with Baskot Lel Baltageyya. Over the past decade, he has gained widespread recognition for his work as a musician, producer, recordist, and mixer. Dubbed "Egypt's musical renaissance man" by Scene Noise in 2019, he's lent his keen ear to numerous other projects -- such as Youssra El Hawary's No'oum Nasyeen (2017), Tarkamt's Live at the Necropolis (2018), Maurice Louca's Elephantine (SR 474LP, 2019), Natik Awayez's Manbarani (SF 116LP, 2020), and Nancy Mounir's Nozhet El Nofous (2022) -- and has collaborated with many of the biggest names in the region's independent music scene, including Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, Nadah El Shazly, Raed Yassin, and Sam Shalabi. Baskot Lel Baltageyya started as an audiovisual project, and from the beginning, Zidan has resisted the idea of it being pinned down as any one thing. As he puts it, "You can think of Baskot as a genre of music, a name of a group, or as something to consume." The album serves as an extension of Baskot's phantasmagoric live show. With his voice slathered in vocoders, Dabbour weaves his fragmented rhyme schemes with surreal images, odd characters, pop-culture references and imperative prescriptions for managing everyday life. Astute listeners can find links between the album and the dark absurdist humor that prominently featured in Egyptian popular culture before life became more absurd than the culture. You may perceive similarities to monologuist performances, or to the different shaabi musics of the region, or to old Egyptian TV scores, or to early electronic music, or to western psychedelia. Alternatively, however, you can choose not to want to view everything in relation to things you already know. Bridging the gap between experimentation and pop, Baskot Lel Baltageyya stands as a style, a sound, and an edible entity all its own. Mastered by Heba Kadry. Includes 12" double poster.