Hope you all had a very good October and even if you didn’t hopefully some of these tracks will make your November a little better.
First up, *airhorn*, a new track from Dynoman who gives us ‘The Return (Demo)’. Like most of his work, the track takes some time to get fully warmed up, patiently setting the scene for what’s to come. There’s droning synths, skittering percussion and a meandering melody. It reminded me of waiting in line outside a venue and itching to get in. There’s an anticipation in this first half that then breaks through into an infectious and immediately groovy bassline. The bollywood (I think?) sample that comes in here is pure atmosphere, giving the track that extra spice, elevating it out of the impersonal and into something more. Great stuff.
Next up is ‘Tin Dabbay’ by Illmandar, featuring Dr. J, Mr Khabardaar and Lil’ Chutney. I have to admit that I have no idea who any of these people are, but this track really caught my ear. It’s difficult to find rap in Pakistan that doesn’t immediately make you cringe, often because it apes American gangster rap in all of the worst ways and without any of the context. But here, with ‘Tin Dabbay’, this group manage a bizarre mixture of sounds, samples, field recordings, and rap that sounds unique and exciting. I had no idea what to expect while listening. There’s a sample of a merchant vendor’s call – ‘Teen dabbay!’ – recurring throughout, along with a sample of 1974 Italian artist Piero Piccioni’s ‘It’s Possible’. Over the top of this madness is a rap about class envy. It shouldn’t work but it does.
Cheemgadar is back with another vignette ‘If Only (I Am)’. Like most of his work, it’s supremely frustrating, if only because it leaves you bewildered at the ideas at work packed into 1 minute 20 seconds, and craving for more. There’s real beauty in the beginning; disembodied vocals float in the mix, while a programmed drum ploughs through. Dora’s optimistic self-assuring voice complements Cheemgadar’s own more insecure baritone, backed by cosmic synths. The mantra is the same – if only I am – not a question, just a statement. Existential panic never sounded so pretty.
Like we guessed in last month’s mixtape, NOMAD has been up to something #calledit. The Karachi alt-folk artist has just released a debut EP called YOU DROPPED YOUR MAGIC BEADS! Great title. And the album, like this track, are drawn from this odd, almost prehistoric place. NOMAD calls it ‘witch-folk’ and ‘techno-pagan’. ‘TERRACOTTA DOLLS’ has a shimmering melody that you can never totally place your finger on. The drum loop occasionally seems to get nudged off time. There are mountainous woodwind sounds and windchimes. It’s chaotic but at the same time simple. The production here is layered and lush, in a way that we haven’t heard from NOMAD before. Listen to it at dawn, when the sun hasn’t fully come out yet. NOMAD seems to soundtrack those in between moments of magic.
See u next month m80s.