The Egyptian Lover – Egypt, Egypt
Label: Freak Beat Records
Style: Hip Hop Electro
Played at: Arabian Prince @ Oxford Arts Factory, Sat 26th Oct 2009
Egyptian Lover Interview January 2006 (Courtesy of West Coast Pioneers.com)
Is it right that you started your carrer as a DJ back in the days?
To be exact I started as a dancer back in the days watching the DJ´s doin their shows. They did some mixing and repeat phrases on the wheels. I thought it would be cooler to do the mixing ever bar. So at home I started to recorded short sound phrases stop the deck and record this phrase again. That was the beginning. A club manager heard my stuff and said “Hey man this is cool can you do it live?” I asked “How? Should I bring my tapes?” – “No you must do it on the turntables”. I could not imagine how this will work, but I give it a try and the crowd stopped dancing and watched me doing my show. Then they went crazy, cause they never heard and saw anything like this before. I called it “Live Editing”. In this time we had no crossfader, sometimes the mixer had only knobs!”
When did you bought your first music equipment?
Africa Islam told me that in order to make beats you need a 808 drum machine. I had 200 $ and my mum gave me the rest to buy my first 808.
Arabian Prince mentioned in the Red Bull Interview that his 808 is special cause it has a short delay that makes his sound so unique.
Every 808 sounds different but they have to sound precise. So Arabian maybe have one that I´ve sorted out.” -Smile-
What was your part in the “Breakin and Entering” Soundtrack and why is it instrumental?
These are my first songs I did with my 808. I produced it in 1982 and the beats were already finished when the documentary was done. For the “Breakin and Entering” project we went in the Studio and finished it with melodies and scratching from me and Glove. The record is instrumental so Ice T can rap on it in the “Breakin and Entering” documentary. It was pressed in the minimum possible amount from 25 copys to spin it in the movie.
Can you tell us some bout your early productions on the Freak Beat Label with Uncle Jamms Army?
Uncle Jamms Army where a lot of up to 50 people & Roger Clayton a.k.a. Mr. Prinze started and managed Uncle Jamm. Clayton was a big fan of Funkadelic, that´s why he named the Crew -Uncle Jamms Army-. I was a one of many DJ´s and Roger organized parties in the LA area. One big party with Uncle Jamm happened in San Francisco with 10 000 people. That was amazing. The name “Freak Beat Records” was inspired from the song Nairobi / Funky Soul Makossa Free Beats Version.
You mentioned a DJ called Bobcat. Do you know the Bobcat Song released on AMP Records?
I remember this very good. I laughed so hard when Bobcat played this song the first time. He said Egypt your records went gold what do you think bout this one. I said my go gold but your´s will reach rust. He sold one record. His mother bought it. -Smile-
What was your part in Dial A Freak?
I produced the beats and melodies for Dial A Freak. Then I went on a tour and Roger Clayton (Mr. Prinze) finished the song with vocals and effects. When I came back the song was already a big seller.
How did you became a member of Uncle Jamms Army?
I was one of many DJ´s at the start. As Roger heard the sound I was spinnin, he had fear the party people leave because Roger could not imagine that anybody will dance on this uptempo beats. So to force me to leave he interrupted my set and advised me to play a real slow record with a load of female singing. “Oh my god this shit song has only a 1 minute part with good beats, what should I do. I took the second copy, pitched both records up to max and looped this terrible wax to death. People did the dance called “The Freak” and went crazy, Roger too. From that night there were no doubts anymore.”
Can you tell us some storys bout the Uncle Jamms Partys back then?
In 1984 as the partys began to went real big we decided to book also Live Acts. So it came the Summer Jam in the Sports arena with Run DMC as opening act. Run DMC liked my sound and said it would be great to work with me on a electronic uptempo song. But their album where already finished at that point and then they went successful with Hip Hop so it never happened. Later Run DMC ask me “Why do you have so much money ?” I said “First I do not have to split my money like you in three parts. When I earn a million bucks it´s all mine.”
Who was the man behind Computer Power? A lot of people say that it´s only a alias character for Egypt.
Jamie Jupitor (Bo) did most of the production. Then he went to the army and I finished it with effects. Computer Power was based on a virus that infect the computer and the hustling should reflect the ill computer. To this time this was more science fiction.
Where does the name Jamie Jupitor came from?
Jamie Jupitor is based on my second Name James and Jupiter from the roland machine the O in Jupitor reflects the nickname Bo. There are also five unreleased songs from Jamie Jupitor one of them called “Electric Encounter”.
Most of your songs are very uptempo. What´s the reason for this?
Back in the days we have this famous dance called “The Freak”. People dancing close to close very sexy. So as faster the beats the more freaky the dance became. And also I do not like to fuck slow, do you?. There is also a cool story I remember: ”One day there was a 1000 $ Dancing Contest which girl can do the freak best. Two nice lady´s ended in a battle. The one show a little part of her titties – All went crazy. The other girl also want to win. Tear apart her pantys and have a little fun with a bottle she grabbed. Guess who wins.”
What was the funniest thing that happened to you back then as a DJ?
One day I was spinning at a party and a local reporter said “Hey man you are better than the Egyptian Lover, what´s your name. I said “My name is DJ Spermcell. “ The next day there was a article bout the party and the topic was “DJ Spermcell better then the Egyptian Lover”. Imagine: I was never in the newspaper before this day. And my friend had to laugh so hard to see my picture with this header.
How long does it take to finish Egypt Egypt?
Egypt Egypt was done in 30 Minutes.
Can you describe your work in the studio?
In the production for ”Alezby Inn“ the whole recording team was 1 day away and Egypt was alone in the studio. The team came back to start the work for Side B. Egypt said “Hey I use the time and made a song all alone “Sexy Style” was born. By the way this is one of my favourites.
How did you get new ideas when you stuck in your production?
I play the beats that are already finished and listen to the reflections from the sounds on the wall, two glasses standing together vibrate or a room divider covered with thin canvas that swing with the beat, out of all these things you can hear a melody that I use for my music. Every room has a different sound character. Be quiet and listen even here in the hotel lobby with all the people talking you can hear a melody.
Are there any idols that influced your music?
Definitely Prince. I always like his music and style back in the days. My heavy breathing in my music and the lyrics bout women is based on his music. Also my outfit back then, for example the Sailor Cappy I wear in the “Breakin and Entering” movie were leaned on Prince. Later I had the luck to meet Prince and he told me that he truly likes my music – I was surprised and honored.
Many Artists take new equipment to produce their songs. What you think bout this?
My new album was done with Fruity Loops. It´s easy to use and I finish a beat in 30 seconds. Jamie quoted at this time and said “Come on you need at least 3 Minutes”. Give me a laptop right now and I show you how to make a beat in 30 seconds. But I must admit playin my new productions loud in the clubs I recognize that something is missing. With old analog sounds like Yes, Yes, Yes you fill the whole room with your music. The digital sound is clear and straight, but an 808 Beat take you in the arms, it is everywhere. The next production should be done with analog instruments again.
What do you think bout Kraftwerk?
I discovered the Kraftwerk stuff cause they where on the same label as Prince. (Warner Bros). At that time a young girl called Deborah Thomson ask me if I can record her the Computer World album on tape. After I recorded it I gave the album back but hold the tape for my own. Later I married her. By the way I was talking to a studio assistant who was workin for Kraftwerk at Warner Bros. as they did their “Electric Café” Album. It was produced in LA. and he said the telephone sounds & breathing for Telephone Call (1985) where copied from Dial a Freak (1983), which was on heavy rotation at every Radio Station.
Are their any music videos from your songs?
In 1984 MTV asked me to do a Video for Dial A Freak, they would also pay the production costs. I denied because as a DJ I thought, everybody would record the VHS and nobody buy my records anymore. That´s how I thought those days. But there is a video for Freak-a-holic.
Many of the artists from back in the days like Ice T or Dre went to make Gangster Rap. You stayed to make Electro. What´s the reason for this?
Little Richard said –Every song you do is like a tattoo on your body- And I don´t want a Hip Hop tatoo.
Do you have children to pass on your knowledge?
I have no own kids. But my stepdaughter is doing some music and I help her with my knowledge. She is already pretty good.