Review: Mutamassik – Rekkez

Who knows if Mutamassik’s bizarre stylistic mesh is the direct result of her multicultural upbringing, but it certainly feels as though it’s played a part. Having been born in Italy to an Egyptian mother, Guilia Loli moved between Egypt and the USA before returning to Italy once again; Rekkez feels like a hazy memory of this country-hopping past, riddled with chronological slip ups and cultural confusions, with shards of her Egyptian heritage misplaced into the company of vocodered whines and synthesiser inflections.

The rhythms are particularly gorgeous aspect, comprising a delightful array of Egyptian percussion (all of which played with gusto by Guilia herself) stacked into loops that jangle and thud in a manner that feels both lively and incredibly precise. The listener is boldly encouraged to dance, but frequently challenged with the question of how this “dancing” should manifest – often the rhythms stagger and clatter in a fashion that I can’t imagine sits kindly with the standard dance repertoire of most, thus leaving the listener decipher how best to channel their impulsive will to move.

The album is also littered with field recordings taken from various locations (Tuscany and Egypt included), which dot the hypnotic loops of beat with snatches of conversation, dog barks and traffic noise. Where as the rhythmic loops are often edited together with clinical precision – thus maintaining the music’s fluidity and momentum – these raw sonic documents of Guilia’s personal experiences are laid somewhat more untidily over the work. They burst into life and cut out abruptly, making visible the seams of the creative process; it’s a fantastic aspect of the album, likening it to travel diary into which Guilia has hastily stuck down her scraps of memory and experience.