Summer is here and it’s hot af so what better way to start off the Mosiki mixtape than with Friedinger’s latest single ‘Bloom’, a bright and sunny track that bounces along on synths like lily pads. If it wasn’t Ramazan I would drink something nice and refreshing in the sun, but it is so I won’t.
Next up is ‘Dost Hain Meray’ another fresh single from The Tamaashbeens (have they ever made anything that wasn’t pretty?) It’s short, sweet, and lulls you into a groove with a plucky ukulele. But underneath the childish exterior, The Tamaashbeens are singing about how their friends are liars and can’t be trusted. So yeah. But then a (what sounds like) kazoo slides into the track and buzzes around, reminding us that the band still has a sense of humour and are never keen to take themselves too seriously.
Warda Mahek’s ‘Walking on Water’ is a beautiful lo-fi track with a meandering melody, somewhat reminiscent of Corinne Bailey Rae. It all starts with her ‘consistent stare at the piece of your hair which you were winding around your finger’, which is a lovely image. In fact, the entire track is full of these details – ‘lonely isn’t just a state of time’, she sighs – and in the end, Mahek seems to clutch to a pyrrhic victory: ‘you told me I was right’, she sings, but it doesn’t feel like something to celebrate.
‘Kaun’ by Cheemgadar is an introspective meditation, which uses the question ‘kaun’ as a kind of mantra, looking desperately not for the ‘why’ but for the ‘who’. It’s a stuttering search where the track runs into speed breaks, before collapsing inwards. Cheemgadar leaves us with the cliffhanger – ‘yeh toh…main’ – and the drums putter out, inflecting into a question mark.
This month The Swet Shop Boys released their EP Sufi-La, the follow up to last year’s LP Cashmere. And while it’s not quite as good as that album, it’s still pretty great, with Riz MC and Heems still spitting fun, silly bars on ‘Zombie’ that nonetheless have a trademark SSB tinge of South Asian racial commentary. ‘Pakis ain’t gonna quit tho’, says Riz MC, and I hope this duo doesn’t.
NAWKSH released an album last month, but ‘Searchbox’ wasn’t on it, although it very much sounds like it could have been. Like many tracks on the album, NAWKSH here experiments with repetition, phasing sounds and melodies in and out of sync, and it reminded me of some of Steve Reich’s work (but I always say that whenever I hear repetition so idk). But with the synths weaving in and out of the mix, NAWKSH appears like a chemist, adding elements here and there and seeing what emerges.
Gentle Robot’s album Feel came out too, and one of the highlights is ‘Mind Control ft. Varqa Faraid’. A complex guitar riff, and what sounds like an odd time signature (I think) gives the track a unique energy and sense of movement. It’s a paranoid affair with Gentle Robot singing about mind control (obviously), and reinforces the tracks restlessness, like you’re listening to a nervous tic.
Alif Bae here ventures into the ambient with ‘Petrichor’. While perviously the artist has been content with chill downtempo house, here he slows things down even further, creating atmosphere with a looping guitar line accompanied by a keyboard. But the track really comes into its own towards the end, where Alif Bae merges the ambient with the downtempo – it’s pretty evocative stuff. Something for a summer evening.
Closing up, Phantasmagorical Tranquility (catchy) gives us a wall of sound with the heavily compressed ‘T2-TWENTYIII’ that washes over you. Somewhere buried deep in the mix are drowned vocals that warble out. Great ambient stuff once again from P.T.
And to finish is ‘The Epic’ from Keeray Makoray, which is, well, epic. It was a TAAZA track, we wrote about it.
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