Hip-hop and Electro royalty don’t come equipped with more straight up sex than Egyptian Lover. A self-described “Freak” and a man who’s seemingly spent over thirty years soundtracking his sheer dedication to wooing the opposite sex via classic albums like On The Nile and One Track Mind, the Egyptian Lover was aligning romance with electronics and searching for love on the dancefloor years ahead of his peers.
With his groundbreaking mixing techniques and love for the warm sounds of the Roland TR-808, Gregg Broussard spent the eighties churning out vocal electro aimed at destroying dances across his native LA county, reaching relative success with his single ‘Egypt Egypt’ and becoming a focal point of the legendary Uncle Jamm’s Army crew. His influence can be heard in everything from Daft Punk to Seth Troxler, with his charismatic take on electronic beat-building becoming integral to the foundations of modern dance music.
Ahead of his appearance at this year’s Horst Festival, we caught up with the modern day King Tut to discuss his favourite pieces of music that feature the iconic drum machine, with classics from Bambaataa, Cybotron, Twilight 22, Hashim and more.
1. Afrika Bambaataa – Planet Rock
The first song I chose is Planet Rock. This has to be the best song ever made with the TR-808. It has all the things one needs to dance to. When they made this song they made history. My favourite song of all time.
2. Newcleus – Computer Age Push the Button
Computer Age (Push the Button) has that rim shot with delay that just makes you want to move. I still get inspired today when I hear it. Newcleus are one of my favourite groups.
3. Cybotron – Clear
When I first heard this record I was blown away. Cybotron was not just a great name for a group, they brought that 808 beat with so much intensity and people absolutely loved it.
4. Hashim – Al-naafiysh (The Soul)
This has to be every DJ’s favourite song to mix. The EQ of the 808 on this song is perfect. Hashim named this song Al-Naafiysh but everyone knows it as “It’s Time”.
5. FreeStyle – Don’t Stop The Rock
Miami gets a shout out making this great 808 track with Freestyle. Great guys playing keyboards for Pretty Tony. Together they put Miami on the Map.
6. Twilight 22 – Electric Kingdom
OMG! Twilight 22 made this incredible song with the 808 and custom sounds only they had because they made all their own synth sounds. One of the best records ever made. Still inspires me today. If I could go back in time I would have made an album with them.
7. Sexual Harrassment – I Need A Freak
This record has such a wonderful simple 808 beat. Definatly inspired by Prince this record was often thought to be made by me but it was Sexual Harassment who made it. I had to remake it because everyone thought it was me. I absolutely feel this record deep in my freakiness.
8. Nairobi and The Awesome Foursome – Free Beats
Nairobi put this on the B side of their single “Funky Soul Makossa” it was titled “Free Beats” and beats it was. This beat made with the 808 was the first time I heard just a bonus beat on a song and it inspired me to do many records like this.
9. Jamie Jupitor – Future Computer (The Bass Academy 2016)
This huge sounding 808 beat is very hard to find but a gem if you ever do. Jamie Jupitor has done it again with this BIG BEAT SOUND! A must have for every electro fan and 808 fans. “Future Computer” is Jamie Jupitor’s second release to “Computer Power” in 1985. We waited over 30 years to hear this new song and it was well worth the wait.
10. Channel One – Technicolor (Long Mix)
Channel One has blown my mind… I think I died twice when I first heard this song. The effects on the 808 beat is the very best. Very inspirational to this day. “Technicolor” is another Juan Atkins masterpiece.
Egyptian Lover’s 1984 is out now. Order it here.
Egyptian Lover plays at Horst Festival in Belgium on September 9. More info and tickets available here.