Egyptian Lover (45-year-old producer/vocalist Greg Broussard) was one of the original electro figures out of Los Angeles. His productions hark back to that time (the mid '80s) when electro funk was as stiff as a German electrician's posture and all vocals by law had to sound as if the singers' larynxes and uvulas were composed of scrap metal. Obviously, Kraftwerk's beat programming, alternately sumptuous and plinky synth textures, and grandiose symphonic arrangements exerted a huge influence on American electro, and Egyptian Lover's work is no exception. But EL injected a slick sensuality into electro's cold-wired chassis with husky-voiced and understatedly over-the-top come-ons. And he wasn't above deploying that archetypal Egyptian melody (you know the one) into a track (see "Egypt Egypt").
It's probable Egyptian Lover will push those nostalgia buttons you know you want nudged, so expect club fixtures like "I Need a Freak," "Egypt, Egypt," "Freaky DJ," and other tracks from 1984's On the Nile and 1986's One Track Mind. Later standout Egyptian Lover tracks like "Keep It Hot" and "The 808" don't break new ground, but they stomp on old territory with panache.
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A collaboration between ex-Funkstörung member Chris De Luca and Phon.o (Carsten Aermes), CLP are generators of bold-faced, neon-lit electro funk, booty tech, and Euro-crunk. (Decibel Fest booked them to headline the Headfuk showcase in 2007, but Canadian officials rejected De Luca at the border, so Phon.o performed solo.) The German twosome's lofty sound-design specs reflect their years toiling in the IDM trenches. CLP's party-half-naked rhythmic thrusts coupled with their gear-nerd textures indicate that Decibel (which is organizing this event with Obese Productions and Rocket Science) is, contrary to some observers, not strictly about electronic music's more cerebral facets.
CLP's debut album, Supercontinental (Shitkatapult), features MC cameos on nearly every track. On this disc, the duo draw in broad, demonstrative strokes rather than induce chin stroking. A track like "Party Hardy," with bawdy spittin' from Yo! Majesty, is pure libido-stoking hustle and bustle. Ditto for the slightly more understated electro-house number "Insatiable," with lascivious verses from White Gold Princess. "Rockin' Wiz Us," with Oakland underground-rap stalwarts Zion I, by contrast, is laced with an ominously wobbly bass line and a rippling little horn snippet. "Putcha Handz Up" features the tight, swift verbals of female dynamo Rayzaflo, on whom you should keep close tabs.
If CLP aren't electro's future, they sure do brighten its present.
CLP perform Thurs April 2 with PrEssHa, Noisemaker, Produkt at Nectar, 9 pm, $8, 21+; Egyptian Lover performs Sat April 4 with Jamie Jupiter, Truckasauras, DJ Sean Cee at Chop Suey, 9 pm, $13 adv/$16 DOS, 21+.