Electronica meets psych-rock on 'Overk' - the Debut Release from Cairo's Hossam Hilal by Louis Sterling-Snell

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After several months of exchanges between Hossam and IDS, we are proud to present ´Overk´, a collection of textural works from the experimentalist that hints at styles of world music, packaged with the influences of psychedelic rock and electronica.

The journey begins with ‘Hurry up’, a collage of luscious tonal bodies and melodic electric guitar riffs, topped with a beauteous synthesis of sampled drums. As Hossam takes us into the more organic, off-kilter African percussion on tracks such as ‘Habitat’ and ‘Ma Fi Makan’, the artist begins to unveil his Egyptian roots with a more traditional, celebratory atmosphere of a city with a rich cultural history. The E.P. closes with ‘Crippled Down’, a delicately dissonant blend of metallic textures and concrete basslines.

Download Hossam Hilal - Overk here

Interview (Conduced by Jamie Moore for IDS)


Who/what were your main influences when writing Overk?

I had lots of influences, some African artists, like “Tinariwen”, “Nabil Othmani”, “Bombino”, some electronic artists, like “ Kerala dust”, “Nicola cruz”.

Also I think it’s a mixture of influences, I really like psychedelic music, and indie, and jazz, and lots of other genres also; I think an artist collects a lot of music then interprets it in his own way in his music.

Your music combines a mixture of acoustic and electronic sounds. Is there something that draws you to this approach, rather than working exclusively with one form?

I come from a totally acoustic background, I started playing piano when I was really young, then later guitar, later at university I learned Drums, but I didn’t like electronic music back then at all. Then I started getting more into  progressive music, with which I started adding electronic elements. Then through friends I got to listen to more electronic music. Sometimes I work exclusively with one form, like in the track “Ma Fi Makan”, it is completely acoustic, but mixing between them is what makes the song full in my opinion; I am not really convinced that electronic music was made to imitate acoustic sounds, it was actually made to create new sounds, sometimes inspired by acoustic instruments definitely, but I really think they complement each other, adding different textures and timbres.

How do you find the music scene in Cairo? Has it influenced your music in any way?

The music scene in Cairo is definitely getting better although it is fairly a small scene compared to the size of Cairo. There are lots of challenges though, especially the lack of venues; which also gives some limitations in terms of getting a new crowd as an artist. Also as organizers, they would have to get the musicians and the music genres that people liked the most; which definitely shaped my music, I mean when someone listens to a certain genre of music for a long time, it will inevitably affect his music, whether he likes it or not.

Do you have a favourite album or artist right now?

I can’t say I have one favorite album or artist, when I listen to music, it always depends on my mood, or what time of day it is. Just from the top of my head, I love the album “Awalin” by Steve Shehan; there is also this ambient jazz album called “the heights of the reeds” by Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang; I really love the music in it.

What was your favourite record when you were young?

I’ve always had a problem in choosing one favourite record, but there are two records that I listened to a lot when I was young. Steven Wilson’s album “The raven that refused to sing”, and Radiohead’s “In Rainbows”.

Are there any specific people, musicians or otherwise, that you find especially inspiring?

Well, there are some musicians that I really love in terms of their approach to their music, where they come from and what they achieved, like Richard Bona for example, and like Nicolas Jaar, whose music has taken a really experimental turn now!! There are comedians also that I am really into, like David Hoyle, and David Mitchell. There are also movies that definitely inspired how I look at art in general!!

Is there a direction that you can see your music taking which you haven’t yet explored?

I make a totally different type of music also under the name “Hil”, it’s more psychedelic and ambient. The direction that I would like to explore is more about creating my own sound, exploring more with different textures, going more psychedelic I think.

I’m also really into weird instruments; and I always like to play new instruments, currently I just started playing Flute, still trying though!!

Follow Hossam :



Listen to IDS001, the Official ID Spectral Launch Compilation by Louis Sterling-Snell

"Ability II has been a hugely influential bleep 'n' bass milestone" (Bleep.com on Ability II)

"Auxx demonstrates that we are privy to something truly un-matched and admirable" (URBNET / Fontana on AUXX) 

"Yu Miyashita (aka Yaporigami) continues to baffle the ears.” (Igloo Magazine on Yaporigami)

“I listen to so many artists that wield a vivid sense of atmosphere, but London’s Anji Cheung goes one step further.” (ATTN Magazine on Anji Cheung)

ID Spectral records are to release their launch compilation on 02/08/18. The compilation album will feature over an hour of innovative and experimental music, from artists such as Aphex-twin approved artist Ability II, Anji Cheung, Yaporigami, Valance Drakes and BBC music's AUXX. The launch compilation marks the birth of the new label, introducing many promising young artists to their roster.

Listen to IDS001 on your preferred service : https://fanlink.to/IDS001

ID Spectral is a UK based record label and multi-disciplinary arts collective promoting the sounds of innovative creatives worldwide. The multi-media imprint was founded by BBC supported artist Louis Sterling (aka. AUXX), with A&R assistance from Jamie Moore (aka. Mote), both of whom will feature on the compilation. The imprint is running out of Brighton, UK, having secured support from Resonance Extra and Radio Cascabel - as well as relationships with the State 51 Distribution and Frisson Radio.

ID Spectral are also running bi-weekly radio shows on Resonance Extra (https://extra.resonance.fm), which will feature guest mixes from artists on the compilation, as well as regular mixes by the labels founders.

Expect impending updates about ID Spectral and our upcoming releases.

Follow ID Spectral :


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IDSpectral

Twitter: https://twitter.com/idspectral

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/idspectral

Bandcamp : https://idspectral.bandcamp.com


IDS Feature : Hironori Nagatsuma by Louis Sterling-Snell


Feature by Jamie Moore. 

When you hear the term “ambient”, in the west - one might consider musicians such as Brian Eno, Aphex Twin or Harold Budd. However in Japan, there have been a vast amount of producers that have utilised musicality and the soundscape by means of cultural expression. 

Hironori Nagatsuma is an Ambient/Glitch artist and producer working out of Izunokuni, Japan. He has self-released 10 Compositions albums on his bandcamp page with the latest surfacing this May. His work focuses on the deconstruction of the voice, coupled with expansive sound design and refined, yet dynamic minimalism.

He also displays a keen eye for the visual arts, especially photography, with the release of his work often accompanied by series’ of vivid photographs of urban Japan, published on instagram. His music will feature in our upcoming compilation, and will be doing a guest mix of his own music for IDS on Resonance Extra on 25/7/18.

Interview : Hironori Nagatsuma

Your music juxtaposes jarring vocal glitch elements with smooth, airy synths, is there a deeper conceptual message behind the aesthetics of your work?

Each songs are produced to express something. I think human voice is an excellent instrument that evokes feelings. 

In genres such as electronica or noise music as well as pops, I think that those who likes it find some sort of melody in it. 

Human voice is used to express melody and emotion.

I totally agree with the expression of an airy synth. The fact that shapes are not clear, I think those things result from showing various forms depending on the viewpoint.

There is some thoughts in myself that the world is full of variety and interesting place and sometimes we cannot understand each other.

Was there a specific musical experience, or set of experiences, that motivated you to create the music that you do?

Thinking of the connection between sound and emotion, and the analysis of other people's songs. And creating the sounds that I use for tracks themselves is one of the motivations towards new expressions.

Could you give us a brief description of the electronic/experimental music scene in Japan, perhaps highlighting any differences to the scene here in the UK?

Although it does not change from before, I do not think that the scale of the Japanese scene is so big. 

However, recent SNS development has enabled direct connection with artists who I am interested and it is very convenient. 

Modular synths are getting popular in my surroundings.

I do not understand UK scenes well. Since we began acquiring music on the Internet, we often know the origin of the artist(s) afterwards.


Do you have a favourite track or album at the moment?

This year's album is "Oneohtrix Point Never / Age Of".

"More recently, I listen to old radio programs and radio communication sound on youtube regardless of countries. It is interesting that the atmosphere of the era is confined there.

What was your favourite record when you were younger?

  1. Alva Noto - Prototypes
  2. Mono Fontana - Ciruelo
  3. Charles Koechlin - Paysages et Marines Op.63
  4. Rino Cerrone - Rilis Label
  5. Rhythm & Sound – Rhythm & Sound

Are there any specific people, musicians or otherwise, that you find especially inspiring?

Artists taking no notice around them relentlessly pursuing their own expressions are stimulated regardless of genre.

If you had to compare your work to that of a visual artist, who would it be?

I can not answer because I do not have any knowledge about visual artists.

Is there a direction which you can see your music taking which you haven’t yet explored?

The use of acoustic instruments. Or making the simple instrument itself.

Follow Hironori : 

Bandcamp : hnagatsuma.bandcamp.com/

Soundcloud : soundcloud.com/hnagatsuma

Instagram : www.instagram.com/hngtm/

Twitter : https://twitter.com/hnnggttmm

Distant Animals to Feature on IDS Launch Compilation by Louis Sterling-Snell


#IDS Artist | 007 :

We are incredibly proud to announce that Distant Animals will be featuring on the ID Spectral launch compilation.

"A true researcher of sound, Daniel Alexander-Hignell has recorded, written, performed and researched numerous socially-oriented sound works across Europe, often choosing to work with a diverse range of collaborators, including visual artists, choreographers, theologians, lawyers, and political activists.'" With his latest release "Lines" on Hallow Ground, and a more recent feature on the French Revue & Corrigée - he has blurred the lines between an experimental practise, pulling new and unique takes of jazz and modern classical, whilst drawing contemporary concepts of the soundscape.

Listen to Distant Animals : https://bit.ly/2NrVBmw

Distant Animals Live at Brighton Modular : 

Anji Cheung to Feature on IDS Launch Compilation by Louis Sterling-Snell


#IDS Artist | 006 :

We are incredibly proud to announce that Anji Cheung will be featuring on the ID Spectral launch compilation.

With a truly unique approach to sound, the atmosphere of Anji's works has fallen under the umbrella of avant-garde music; more specifically the industrial, ambient and contemporary spectrum of electronic music. And it is by no surprise that through this she has gained the attention of The Quietus, NTS Radio, and ATTN magazine, accompanied by ritualistic live performances in spaces that inhibit the ethereal environments of her strong-bodied soundscapes. 

Listen to Anji Cheung : https://anjicheung.bandcamp.com/

Anji Cheung (NTS Radio) : https://bit.ly/2NohFhY

Loraine James to Feature on IDS Launch Compilation by Louis Sterling-Snell


#IDS Artist | 005 :

We are incredibly proud to announce that Loraine James will be featuring on the ID Spectral launch compilation.

With a plethora of works, live performances and radio shows on platforms such as NTS Radio and BBZ LDN, Loraine's electronic and experimental works have been considered closely to that of Telefon Tel Aviv or Aoki Takamasa, sitting somewhere amongst the experimental banner of Warp Records or Ninja Tune.

Listen to Loraine James : https://bit.ly/2JtONCH

Watch Loraine's performance at EditedArts London.





RHGT to Feature on IDS Launch Compilation by Louis Sterling-Snell


#IDS Artist | 004 :

We are incredibly proud to announce that RHGT (Red Hook Grain Terminal) will be featuring on the ID Spectral launch compilation.

RHGT is the industrial moniker of sound artist Jordan Edge, who's works have gained the attention of Opal Tapes, Always Human Tapes and Panatype recordings - with his releases 'L A T E X E S' and "Inorganic" encompassing the concepts of 'dampened acoustics, half destroyed spaces, dead room tones and manipulated environmental surroundings'.

RHGT (Official Website) : https://www.jordanedge.co.uk/

Watch "Le Souffle", soundtracked by RHGT : 





Valance Drakes to Feature on IDS Launch Compilation by Louis Sterling-Snell

Valance Drakes

#IDS Artist | 003 :

We are incredibly proud to announce that Valance Drakes will be featuring on the ID Spectral launch compilation.

Crafting complex sequences for well over a decade, Valance (formerly MusSck), has been previously been labelled as “London's glitch pioneer”, and is a well respected producer within the Glitch / IDM scene, from England to as far as Japan.

Over his career as an artist, he has gained the attention of Richard Devine (Warp Records), Annie Hall and more - with releases on many different imprints, including Detroit Underground and the Schematic Music Co.

In 2016, Valance was featured in "What is IDM? Meet Valance Drakes : London’s Glitch Pioneer" - an article originally published on Rhythmist Music. 

Read here : https://bit.ly/2KZgt7Q

Listen to Valance : https://bit.ly/2umYM84