This March we’ve had a new album from Ali Suhail, which drops today on Patari, an excellent beat-tape from Khan Solo, and new singles from Nomad, Asfandyar Khan, Hatim and more. Let’s get into this month’s mosiki mixtape eh?
Khan Solo – Stargirl
As we’ve written before, Berkeley-based Omar Khan’s beat-tape ‘Stargirl’ was one of our favourites this month. Pulling together Motown, Hollywood, and laid-back west-coast surfer rock, ‘Stargirl’ tells the story of a failed relationship. It’s a break-up album, starting with those starry-eyed moments of first love and ending in a tough acceptance that it didn’t work out (to a sample of Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’ no less). Khan pulls off the story in an emotional and cohesive album, and it might be one of my favourites this year. Definitely don’t miss this.
Asfandyar Khan – New Moons in New Cities
Another lovely ambient piece from Asfandyar Khan, who incorporates more guitar into the track and paints a gorgeous soundscape.
Nomad – the thirst that never quenched
Nomad moves into slightly more abstract territory on her latest single. The lyrics here are remarkable: the mountains are drinking / the snow from inside me / and the clouds are now raining / my secrets upon me. The track ends with a lovely little recording of a young child’s back and forth conversation with another adult. ‘What did she say?’, the child asks, ‘What did you say?’, before fading out. Another example of Nomad’s knack of nailing atmospheres.
Aaishay Haque – Blind. (with Zahra Paracha)
Blind. stays steadfastly simple with Haque’s voice over a plucky guitar melody, allowing Haque’s voice and strength as a songwriter to take centre stage. Lyrically, Haque prefers to remain opaque – she herself admits that she’s ‘all grey’. She has ‘words and names to respect’ hanging from her neck, which could be a reference to being stuck in a soulless job that requires identity cards, where ‘every turn is a dead end’. Perhaps not, but Blind. is a sweet little track for anyone who’s ever felt like a hyprocrite or a fraud. *raises hand*
Cheemgadar – Analogxiety (feat. Fanny-Jane Pelletier)
As suggested by the title, with his latest single Cheemgadar takes a paranoid turn into anxiety. There are little bits of sound that poke into the mix like shards of shrapnel. It reminded me a lot of ‘Ful Stop’ from Radiohead’s latest ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ – if you’re a fan of that album, or Radiohead in general, this might be for you.
Girnari Jogi Group – Sur Saarang
A great live folk album released this month from MadGuru, and this is the lead single. Sur Saarang is a celebration and ode to the monsoon, using Shah Lateef’s poetry. Recently, for myself at least, folk music has been filtered through the carbonated prism of Coke Studio and other corporate shows. But we should constantly fight against their monopolisation of the music of the agricultural working class, the very same class that they exploit with water theft. They can’t be allowed to take ownership of folk music, OK, rant over tl;dr neoliberal capitalism is trash. Listen to this Sindhi folk song to calm your palpitating Marxist heart.
Spirare – Arrival
The third single from her upcoming album ‘100 Fathoms’, Spirare continues to create sparse sonic environments. It’s not often that you hear analog sounds in a Spirare track, but here she uses the open strum of an untuned guitar as a kind of punctuation, while a synth dances over. It’s challenging as Spirare always is, but well worth a listen.
Hatim – Going Away
Lahore-based producer Hatim doubles down on vocal chops, a sound that he’s been using in most of his material. One of our slight criticisms of the latest Foreversouth Collections Volume was the heavy emphasis placed on chopping vocals to guide the melody, and even though Hatim does similar things, he manages to infuse enough emotion into ‘Going Away’ that saves it from becoming just another standard chill electronic track.
Shorbanoor has also released a few new tracks on his YouTube page. You can listen to these recordings here.
See you next month!