Mono Egypt is a compilation of field recordings of various musical cultures from contemporary Egypt. It is the result of several years of work with musicians from the Eastern Desert, Nubia, the Nile Delta, Cairo and the port cities of the Suez Canal. This album is the fruit of dozens of recording sessions conducted in private homes and gardens, on riverbanks and rooftops, at the back of bars, in the desert, and in many other unusual places.
Professional artists form one of the last functioning guilds in Egypt in which the oral tradition still enables the transfer of knowledge and skills from father to son, mother to daughter. Many of them still make their own instruments by hand, and they all tell stories of unique communities. The compilation is a musical journey through this region at the junction of Africa and Asia, which is characterised by a surprising diversity of instruments, cultures and dialects.
Mono Egypt is the first production of independent micro-label JuJu Sounds. The project focuses on building bridges between musicians from marginalised communities and niche audiences from around the world. The mission of JuJu Sounds is to revive valuable musical ecosystems, not just to sell exotic products. The Mono Egypt compilation will be released in November 2019 in a limited edition of 100 copies on yellow cassette. The story will be complemented with behind-the-scenes insights into the work on the album and the people, instruments and musical cultures encountered.