Aly & Fila
Egyptian mythology – and Egypt itself for that matter – has always carried with it a distinctly mystifying and transcendental quality. It’s no surprise then that Egyptian DJ duo Aly & Fila’s trance tracks have been received with great curiosity and an air of legitimacy by electronic music fans across the globe. With songs like Eye of Horus and Spirit of Ka, the twosome demonstrate their understanding of pop culture’s obsession with ancient Egyptian mythology – and they’ve been taking full advantage of it since joining forces in 1999.
But where actually is this Egyptian flavour the duo so readily advocate? Aly & Fila’s brand of trance is pure and euphoric, leaving no room for the experimental hybrid subgenres that so many other DJs seem to embrace these days. For this team, the message is clear: they want to channel the sound of Paul van Dyk, with an Egyptian flavour mixed in. But, besides some song title references to ancient Egyptian deities and occasional shots of pyramids in their music videos, this flavour just isn’t there.
This Egyptian influence is not in their beats – they use straight, 4/4 time signatures akin to modern trance forms – nor is it in the sweet female vox they invariably employ (again, a conventional trance technique). For a DJ duo who named their record label Future Sound of Egypt, their music, quite frankly, doesn’t sound all that Egyptian.
Nevertheless, perhaps because of this artificial sponsorship of Egyptian culture, Aly & Fila have achieved great success in the electronic music world. DJ greats like Paul van Dyk, Armin van Buuren and Tiësto have all given a nod to the lads and have played alongside them on many occasions. They’ve successfully launched their own radio show and have ranked in DJ Mag‘s Top 100 list three times. Authentically Egyptian or not, their performance this fortnight should be a dizzying, mystifying trance experience at the tallest bar in the world.
Catch Aly & Fila spin at Ozone on Friday July 6. For tickets: hkticketing.com.