What a month! Ramsha, a Toronto-based ambient artist, released her second major EP after 2015’s excellent ‘Daastanemarg’. Karachi artists and members of the Foreversouth Collective Block-2 and JOFU have released a short two-track EP ‘shrap’. Other notable singles from Dynoman, Cheeems, Spirare, Cheemgadar, Saad Aslam Ali and many more. Let’s dive in.

PS Sorry if mosiki mixtape sounds pompous and lame but the alliteration was too tempting.

 

Ramsha – Veils

Ramsha’s follow up to ‘Daastanemarg’ begins with a gorgeous 12-minute swell of ecstatic sound. It’s optimistic, ethereal and nostalgic all at once. A heavily-delayed guitar plucks solitary notes that echo throughout the mix, and occasional bouts of static swoop in to disrupt. Halfway through, Ramsha takes us to a quiet shore, where waves lap and recede along the beach, before elevating us again, orbiting back into a bigger more cosmic sound. It’s really incredible stuff. We’ll have some more thoughts about the entire EP soon, but until then, you can support by buying the EP on Bandcamp.

 

Block-2 x JOFU – shrap

In this short trappy EP, Block-2 and JOFU really let their weird sides out. Both artists are especially keen on experimentation and exploring their own sonic sandboxes – just take a listen to their contributions to the Foreversouth ‘Hotcues’ series. In ‘shrap’, Block-2 throws a whole host of sounds into the cooking pot, whereas JOFU takes a more hip-hop approach.

 

Cheeems – First Light

‘First Light’ is another strong addition to Cheeems’ already deep and diverse discography, and it’s one of our [TAAZA] tracks. Read up here.

 

Spirare and Tipu Sabziwaar – Sibylline

Anxious and unnerving. Another [TAAZA] track.

 

Big H – Asliyat

So I’m cheating a bit with this one, as it was released at the end of January, but I think it’s worth including. It’s only a snippet, but with ‘Asliyat’, Hashim Ishaq is hinting at a change in direction. Hip-hop has always swung from the worship of the ‘real’ to social status posturing, and some of most interesting music from the genre has been from artists trying to reconcile these dichotomies. With ‘Asliyat’, Big-H uses a chorused guitar, with a reverb ache,  as the backing for his narrative of the unlucky loser. There’s something intriguing about the snippet, and I’m hoping Ishaq releases more.

 

Dynoman – Mountains in Love

Another [TAAZA] one. Phew.

 

Abdullah Siddiqui – Fiction

Siddiqui, a recent signee to Forveversouth, has released a single to his upcoming debut LP. His contribution to the Foreversouth Collections Vol. 4 was a little uncertain – it veered a bit too closely to an EDM-lite sound, with lyrics that seemed subservient to the music, unable to stand on their own. On this single, though, Siddiqui has flipped to embracing pop music, and under this new umbrella, his lyrics just seem to click. It’s a much better fit. The horns are so fun, the synths so happy, that it’s difficult not to get infected. Another one to look forward to.

 

Other releases:

Cheemgadar’s ‘Man from the Future’ is a total departure for the artist, and even though it’s only a snippet, it’s an insight to what Hyder Cheema can do with a more electronic palette.

Wali Sheikh gives us some chill electronica with ‘Slow Haze’, while CHERRISH releases the dreamy, synthpoppy ‘1000 Beams’, with an odd time signature, where the synths and the percussion are at odds with one another, making for an even stranger listening experience.

Qalax and DJ Abdur released ‘Wild Youth’ which is occasionally just generic festival EDM fare. However, on occasion, they really surprise. Take ‘Bombay Nights’ – a tender, subtle and beautiful instrumental. And although ‘Desire’ has this standard EDM structure, it nonetheless reminds us of why EDM became popular in the first place, full of ecstatic synth saws for total escapism, Nevertheless, the duo is at their most succesful when they detach from the rigid structures of builds and drops. When they do, the results are worth a listen.

To close out the mixtape, we have ‘End Credits’, a lovely jazzy tune from Saad Aslam Ali, with a tinge of the blues. You’ll feel like you’re in Paris. Enjoy.