The Dwarfs of East Agouza is a trio from Cairo, Egypt, featuring MAURICE LOUCA (Alif, Bikya), SAM SHALABI (Land of Kush, Shalabi Effect) and ALAN BISHOP (Sun City Girls, The Invisible Hands, Alvarius B.).
Born during 2012 when the three were living in the same apartment building in Cairo’s Agouza district, the trio’s instrumental improvisation-based explorations are propelled by Louca’s North African percussion loops and shimmering keys, Shalabi’s West African tinged free jazz guitar and grounded by Bishop’s driving Krautrock-style acoustic bass.
Following many a late night jam session, the band recorded hours of material during a three-day studio run in April 2014. After compiling and mixing the album in Montreal’s Break Glass studio in July 2015, the refined result will be released as a double-album titled Bes via Nawa Recordings (NAWA005) on 2xLP, 2xCD and DL on 29 April 2016.
Named after the Ancient Egyptian dwarf deity who was worshiped as the defender of all things good and enemy of all that is bad, Bes captures the trio on a hypnotic yet unpredictable journey. From the the lilt of four-minute ethiopian tinged "Resinance" to the 30-minute free-form epic "Museum of Stranglers", the album skirts the outer limits of a psychedelic soundtrack to a North African road trip.
The album artwork features a reproduction of an ancient Egyptian carving of the dwarf god Bes, painted by Egyptian artist Raafat Al-Kordy, designed by Iraqi-Palestinian graphic designer and illustrator Sara Sukhun.
"Time is a luxury that The Dwarfs Of East Agouza indulge themselves in fully. Deeply satisfying riffs are explored fully by the trio of Cairene electronic producer Maurice Louca, Sam Shalabi of the Land Of Kush and Sun City Girl, Alan Bishop, producing hypnotic psych rock that lies somewhere between Circle, Omar Khorshid, Can and the Groundhogs." The Quietus • Best Albums Of The Year 2016
"Bishop provides thick repetitive bass guitar licks, and when twinned with Louca's beats and occasionally vintage sounds, Bes resembles a very Cairo-influences take on the funkier locked grooves of 1970's West Germany" Wire Magazine • Best 50 albums of 2016