Cram an electric trio and seven egyptian musicians in a little room in the heart of Cairo for ten days and see what happens. The first steps of egyptian hard core? An oriental version of end-of -the millenium electric rock`n`roll? The rebirth of arabic pop muisc?
It`s a dream Alain Croubalian, from the Maniacs (based in Geneva), and Fathy Salama, leader of Sharkiat (means "coming from the east), wanted to bring to life. They felt, more than they exactly knew, the common ground where egyptian folk music, international pop, electronic sounds and independent rock could meet. And they made it happen.
After concerts in the Cairo Opera House and a tour of swiss underground clubs they recorded 10 songs in an old studio in Shobra, the heart of popular Cairo.
Escaping the usual cliches about oriental music isn`t easy. When talking about Egypt, you automatically think of sand, camels and pyramids. But Cairo is a busy urban city where 13 million people struggle for everyday life. Traffic is hell and the pop muisc is all electronic beats twisted in a mayheim of selfish pop. This encounter doesn`t really fit your usual world music standards, where exotism counts more than reality. Maniacs and Sharkiat agree and sincerely feel this "Don`t climb the pyramids" album is as authentic as music gets; at the same time a strange encounter. At the end of the recording sessions everybody looked at each other wondering: "It`s great music ! But what is it ?" Neither of us had heard such sounds collide excepts in our wildest fantasies. Today they are reality.