The L.A.-based electrofunk pioneer plays a DJ set Friday night at Castillo Blanco. Here's what you need to know.
Who: The Egyptian Lover, with Disko Obscura opening
What: A DJ set by one of the bridges between hip-hop and electronic dance music
When: Friday, June 16, 9 p.m.
Where: Castillo Blanco Art Studios, 4321 St. Claude Ave.
Why: In her review of last year’s Egyptian Lover 1983-1988, Pitchfork's Minna Zhou wrote, “for the years between '83-'88 and for the entire 30 years he’s been in the game, he’s primarily only had one phase and overarching sound: old-school electrofunk—that '80s 808-driven, Parliament- and Kraftwerk-inspired, breakbeats-referencing, futuristic-yet-analog pastiche that laid the foundation for everything from g-funk to techno to Miami bass that followed.”
Egyptian Lover worked on the West Coast inspired by the sonic palate that Afrika Bambaataa employed for “Planet Rock” on the East Coast, and like Prince, there was no conflict or futuristic conundrum that couldn’t be solved with a freak in bed. On his records, he’s hustler with a transistor heart, and his futuristic penthouse fantasies are undercut by ticking percussion and thin synths that give everything thought a flickering, failing neon glow.
In his DJ sets, Lover keeps it minimal as he sticks to his signature sound—mechanically funky 808 beats and icy synths found on vinyl records, not mp3 tracks. After all, “What is a DJ if He Can’t Scratch”?