Photo: Press (Hassan Abou Alam)
Hassan Abou Alam has been making and releasing for quite a while now, but only recently started to put out more solo records like for Cairo’s Rakete and Violet’s Naive. While he is obviously inspired by the rhythms and bassy sounds of the hardcore continuum, his productions showcase an impressive stylistic open-mindedness while mainting a rough and sharp-edged signature sound. The same can be said for his mix for our Groove podcast, which also includes some cuts from his new EP on Banoffee Pies.
Playing live has been an integral part to your musical practice and you went on record to say that it “encourages production.” What impact did it have on your creative process to only sparsely perform in front of live audiences these past two years?
I feel like the past two years have been the most productive years of my life in terms of music. During quarantine, ideas were flowing. I had finished so much music within the first year of quarantine, it was ridiculous. I don’t know why I was super productive during that time, but I think it’s because I had nothing else to do but work on music. Also, im a bit of an introvert! (laughs)
In the same interview with Scene Noise’s Yaseen, you said that “background noise and attention to detail are everything.” How does background noise come into play when you’re in the studio?
Attention to detail is the artist’s chance to stand out and make something different. I always try my best to have my tracks sound different and not imitate anyone else. I love background noise because it always adds some texture and could give a track life if applied correctly.
Sonically, your productions have a certain rawness to them, which can at least partially be attributed to the gear you’re using. What does your current set-up look like?
Right now, my current set-up is a Digitakt, Digitone, Bastl Thyme Delay, Eowave’s Quadrantid Swarm, Tasty Chrips GR-1 and a Sherman Filterbank 2. I’m really happy with my current set-up, I’m really in tune with all my instruments at the moment.
For two tracks on your new Fasla EP, you have collaborated with vocalist SHBL-LBSH. How did those collaborations come about and what was your working process like?
It just happened all of a sudden. I was working on the music for the release and we just happened to cross paths at the right time and we made it work. He lives a few minutes away from me and we got together a few times. A couple of months after that, the Fasla EP was ready! Super happy this is coming out on one of my favourite labels, Banoffee Pies!
As a DJ, you showcase a very multi-faceted taste. What’s your preferred way of digging for new and fresh music?
Honestly, Bandcamp is a lifesaver. Exploring new tracks on Soundcloud works for me as well!
What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?
I really enjoyed selecting the tracks for this mix. I know I don’t stick to a certain genre throughout the whole mix, but I feel like it’s a fun journey and has a certain flow to it.
Last but not least: What are your plans for the future?
I’ve made a decision to start working on a album this year! I don’t know when it will be ready or where I’m going to release it, but I think it’s time for me to start working on it.
Stream: Hassan Abou Alam- Groove Podcast 331
01. Cecilia – Agile (ft. Bashar Suleiman)
02. K Wata – Seltzer
03. Hodge & Simo Cell – Medusa
04. Ike – Stone Diviner
05. Untold – Yukon
06. Bolam – Hype Shifter (Al Wootton Remix)
07. Iota – Timelink
08. K-Lone – Deluxe
09. Mlee – Desterritorializaćion
10. Hassan Abou Alam – Up
11. Hassan Abou Alam – Mawkif
12. BFTT – XCUSEME
13. Lewi Bome – Untitled Drummer
14. Hassan Abou Alam – Kesibt (ft. SHBL-LBSH)
15. K-65 – Threats
16. LMAJOR – Engineer
17. Jack Play – Notion
18. MSJY – We Stallion
19. RIP Swirl – Candy