I came across Slowspin, aka Zeerak Ahmed, after falling into a soundcloud hole, prompted by Tonje Thilesen’s fantastic article in Pitchfork Magazine entitled Searching for an Underground Generation in Karachi, Pakistan. First was Rise, a steadfastly lo-fi track, with a generous glaze of vinyl crackle covering the whole thing. The repeated lyric is almost indecipherable — don’t… very far? go back to your…? — but the effect is a kind of cumulative swell of sound.
I came across These Words, a collaborative project featuring Karachi producer Al Ak. Like Rise, it’s the texture that’s most interesting here: the tide of staticky noise at 1.03, for example (which incidentally reminds me of Nicolas Jaar’s use of white noise in this stunning remix from his BBC Essential Mix), the constantly shifting percussion, the layered harmonies. She has a way with words too; ‘feelings we’ve now / forgotten the reasons for’. It’s unexpectedly direct and honest. She ends with an almost regretful shrug: ‘I stayed open’.
In April 2016, the Karachi-based producer released her latest EP Soulspins via bandcamp. It’s a short collection – no song lasts over 3 minutes – and so feels more like a series of vignettes. Nevertheless, despite the brevity, Ahmed nonetheless manages to create a cohesive sound, bringing together bedroom folk and an experimental electronic touch. . While the EP generally sticks close to the familiar lines – layered reverb-drenched vocals over plucked acoustic guitar backed with synth – its the details that stand out. The odd surprise here and there. Ahmed’s fine control of texture. Now, having won the Lux Style Award for best emerging artist, we’re excited for what’s to come.
You can buy the Soulspins EP here.