The PAN affiliate sampled by Kanye West turns to familiar experimental sounds.
Kareem Lotfy had a visual art career before Kanye West allegedly stole his music. While exhibiting his work in Italy, Berlin and Los Angeles in the 2010s, he was also providing beats to other crossover artists, including 18+ on their MIXTA2E release. Lotfy would DJ at art and club nights like Berlin's Creamcake and produced a mix as DJ Saudi Cables for a "web residency" reserved for post-internet artists at OSLO10. Even before dropping a proper release, he'd made his small mark on popular culture with "Fr3sh." It was his contribution to last year's Mono No Aware compilation on PAN that Bill Kouligas accused Kanye West of sampling on the ye album opener, "I Thought About Killing You." Weirdly, though, West's version sounds more like what you'd expect Lotfy to sound like if you had looked at his past artwork, which featured CGI installations and floating tribal tattoos.
This self-titled release is more conservative. There's little to differentiate it from other ambient records that draw together radio transmissions and white noise, but there are still subtle distinctions. Sine waves slowly disintegrate into hum and crackle. "Asmar" is set in a soup of whispering vocals and lurching pads, while "GTO" bursts in brief glimpses. "Chromosome" has slowly expanding synth sweeps disturbed by soft ripples of delay and effects, as shattered sonic fragments and cut-up vocals bounce around like debris. QTT10 sees Lofty bring the emotional potential of his art into familiar experimental territory.
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