Ethnofusion Picks #June2018

July 18, 2018 - Blog

I’m glad to present yet another month of discoveries through this blog where I hope my musical finds are interesting enough to write thousands of words about, & hopefully some of you actually read & value it! Regardless of the scriptures, this month is again jampacked with some of the best artists who make world-influenced electronic music, giving us a little something for everybody.

Dig in for ambient Indian soundscapes, psychedelic dub, tribal dubstep, Arabic mid-tempo, Middle Eastern grime, Nubian bass, Andean cumbia dub, 3/4 Zimbabwean house, Brazilian downtechno, Chinese desert trance, Egyptian metal-trap, Bulgarian crunk, & a whole lot more! Here are the picks, roughly arranged from slow/ambient to fast/high-energy.

Curated & discovered by Baxtak for Ethnofusion blog on Outtallectuals & Shivelight YT channel. If there is anything that you think is incorrect or want removed, or want to send us promo for future reviews, contact us at ethno@outtallectuals.com

POAN – Maro [Aquatic Collective]

We start June’s picks with the soothing sounds of POAN, the collaboration between Lorenzo Mantovani, a.k.a Lo.Renzo, & Giacomo Barbari, a.k.a. Daddario. The song which is released through the helmsmen of zen, Aquatic Collective, is an 18-minute journey, inspired by a trip across the oceans, & it utilises classic guitars, sarangi, chimes, frame drum, ocean & spring drum, water & cymbals to create an as-equally-floating experience as the concept suggests. If you are looking for meditative soundscape music with a great deal of depth & detail, this is as good as it gets!

Eccentricity = 9 (Lorenzo’s sarangi combined with the other instruments is signature POAN sound, all day)
Lucidity = 9 (great depth & use of panning, sharp sounds, & crispy hi-fidelity ambient music)
Intricacy = 10 (lots of instruments & sounds painting a 4K listening experience)
Cadence = 8 (finding the faintest motions & dances in stillness upon oceanic waves)
Sentiment = 10 (a song sounding like the ocean, released on Aquatic collective, spot on sentiment)

Median = 9.2

Noirêve – Pitonatio [INRI]

A review request that came through our mailbox this month was this 7-track project & debut album from Noirêve, an Italian producer with focus on a dreamy world-influenced domain of cross-groove experimental music & resampling of organic sounds. The 7-track album is composed of 6 songs on an ‘A-side’ spanning mid & downtempo rates of progression, & a 20-min ambient ‘B-side’ piece.

For how unknown Janet Dappiano, a.k.a. Noirêve’s project seems to us, her work is truly mesmerising & we can officially consider this release as our most underrated discovery this month. Boasting a hefty credit list, featuring guest musicians on the Indian flute, African percussions, sitar, vocals by numerous musicians, bass, Bansuri & Janet’s own use of the guitar & live modulation, the album sounds dense & maturely-composed. After the tribal dance of Embers, the album seamlessly leads to the haunting Om-esque doomtronic vibes of Bradipedia, before vaporising into the spaceous ascension of the interlude, Jalia. The fourth track, Holy Guacamole moves the album towards a more urban approach with foley-sounds supposedly representing city vibes, before traditional Apulian (region in Italy) folk poetry is brought into the mix on Lu Rusciu de Nonno Osvaldo.

Here we are led to the title-track which comes with a trippy music video, further playing on the urban/natural, mechanical/intuitive juxtaposition & presenting one of the most profound moments on the album. The witchy-meets-transcendental vibes are accompanied with highly metaphorical shots which I’m currently not stoned enough to understand but connect with on a primal level.

Finally, we are brought to the beyond-the-grave long-haul ambient closer that is Musica Per Grattini which goes down as one of the best ambient songs I’ve heard this year.

Overall, considering that Noirêve music is designed for live execution & videos of Janet Dappiano performing her music truly adds another dimension to this project, I’ll easily admit that I’m hooked to hear more from her on record or in flesh, & I’ll be regularly revisiting this release for a pan-ethnic IDM-tinged emotional experience that I usually get from my favourite prog metal/rock bands, or few standout producers.

Eccentricity = 9 (very well-glued combination of genres, )
Lucidity = 9 (definitely comes with a bit of a vinyl feel which works in this genre, but I can imagine slightly more crispness)
Intricacy = 10 (absolutely flawless effort to include many instruments, sounds & expressions)
Cadence = 8 (be it ambient, dancey or spoken-word driven, there is great rhythm all throughout)
Sentiment = 10 (an album, full of emotional genuineness, & ambitious takes on rhythm, improvisation, & cultural & sonic exploration)

Median = 9.2

Globular – Entangled Everything

Transmitting the updates of the universal operating system, Globular is back with his newest offering for existential code optimisation & cerebral malware deletion. ‘Entangled Everything’ is the latest full-length in the artist’s now extensive catalogue which has been growing branches since 2010; a body of work that has turned Globular into one of the de facto voices in psychedelic dub music. There are equal parts of progression & expected Globularity to this new album which is composed of 10 steadily-evolving tracks & manages to capture his juxtaposition of robotic & sapient influences perfectly.

Sounding like a manifestation of the Matrix where all Agent Smiths are Terrence McKennas & the entry point is a voluntary purple pill with a play sign on it, this album is another perfect example of Globular’s immersive characteristics that turn his full-lengths into aural movies. The 1 hour & 15 minute through-listen journey is a truly time-bending experience, seeming to stop & speed up reality all at the same time. Stuttered, delayed & otherwise synthesised sounds mingle with ethnic chants & instruments, & transhuman psychedelic soundbites as the roots & dub foundation keeps the rhythm relentlessly steady & syncopated. Tracks like “Total Perspective Vortex” & ‘Dreamland Overfow’ explore some uniquely astounding grooves, & ‘Be Patient Towards What Is Unsolved in Your Heart’ display brilliant instrumental melodicism. Throughout the album, there is also a renewed sense of cinematic quality which is displayed with the atmospheric use of foley & sound design.

Globular’s strand of psychedelic music sits perfectly between modern tech appeal of his Shanti Planti compadres & OG dub of artists like Easy Stars All-Stars, King Tubby, O.T.T, & even Ozric Tentacles. It’s introspectively inquisitive & vulnerable, yet it regularly transitions into playful & triumphant, & the music’s masterful & pragmatic approach gives consistency to it’s changing temperaments.

We suggest you play this album, dedicate your full attention & hopefully celebrate a unique medium of emancipation.

Eccentricity = 8 (signature psydub sound, recognizable by anyone with basic understanding of the genre)
Lucidity = 10 (guru-grade bridging of old & new school production; no complaints here)
Intricacy = 10 (an ever-evolving atmospheric sound, utilising a whole army of melodic & percussive goodies)
Cadence = 10 (an absolutely healing process, with an almost “over-the-counter” medicinal property)
Sentiment = 9 (Globular concepts usually upload in your psyche straight through metaverses so don’t expect much instructions)

Median = 9.4

Quanta – Electric Yields

There are few artists who are as exciting to hear new music from as Quanta; as a de-facto trendsetter at Shanti Planti & world psybass / dub overall, the artist has proved time & time again that he has some of the most patiently-produced & microscopically-crafted songs which blend futuristic techy aesthetic with ancient ethos. Electric Yields is no exception to that rule. The songs’ EMP flows through harmonic caverns, transmitting melody & awe instantaneously. All else I can say is beware if you are stationed near large concentrations of static energy as goose bumps resulting from this music may well turn into quantum-scale thunder strikes.

Eccentricity = 9 (the only thing that this doesn’t outdo in its unique style is some of Quanta’s own weirder moments)
Lucidity = 10 (absolute master-class of production, mixing, panning, & all other trickery)
Intricacy = 10 (painstakingly-detailed; producers will appreciate the shear level of care in production)
Cadence = 10 (one of the best examples of techy sound design helping to supplement groove)
Sentiment = 9 (uncanny sonic representation of bio-electromagnetic activity in living organisms)

Median = 9.6

Humandala – Sun Cycles [Desert Trax]

A solid display of psychedelic dub music came from Humandala this month through the Dwellers’ Desert Trax imprint. The three track EP starts with the beautiful inclusion of the vocalist duo, Farafi on a progressive 9-minute composition that evolves through varieties of steppers dub, psybreaks & tribal bass music. This cross-genre aesthetic which also includes prog rock guitars, reggae dub aesthetics & vibes in the other tracks is pleasantly welcome & jazzily executed, & if you look beyond the initial expectation of “just another psybass release”, you will find that it is incredibly unique, intricate, & certainly a real worthy of your full attention.

Eccentricity = 8 (Pleasantly predictable psydub/bass with exceptional melodic prowess)
Lucidity = 9 (Brilliant mixing of many elements, slightly falling flat on low-end dynamics)
Intricacy = 10 (very well-thought out & rich affair in terms of both melody & number of elements)
Cadence = 9 (immaculate tightly-knit & evolving grooves from start to finish)
Sentiment = 8 (captivating energy & feeling, only missing some marks in terms of overall conceptuality)

Median = 8.8

Rhizomorphic & SubRoot – Herbin’ Legend [Visionary Shamanics]

Taken from the latest Visionary Shamanics compilation, this tune stood out for me while it nailed the squishy psydub vibes. Neatly syncopated digital reggae skanks interact with wailing melodies, cleverly placed breaks, & generally mellowed-out sacred bass goodness. Watch out for the guitar-laden prog rock vibes again!

Eccentricity = 8 (familiar ethnic psydub, ticking of most of what you’d need on that genre checklist)
Lucidity = 9 (very crispy execution, clean sub bass, well-placed melodies & clean overall sound)
Intricacy = 9 (through-composition method of blending many sounds & evolving on a steady skank)
Cadence = 10 (brilliant blend of groove & glitch, motion & stillness)
Sentiment = 8 (perfect for visionary shamanic activities; whatever that may entail for you)

Median = 8.8

Dubnium – Guanyin [Rebel Traxx]

Dubnium comes back to the channel with this song from his latest EP through Rebel Traxx, a tribal dubstep tune with a hefty amount of double time hi-hat action & a super-charged overall feel. One for the urban marauders who like their grimy British electronic music with a dash of Eastern mysticism.

Eccentricity = 8 (UK pan-dubstep sound, repped honestly & according to tradition by a British artist)
Lucidity = 9 (lacks a slight spark in the overall master but mixed to absolute ripeness)
Intricacy = 9 (something about those high-frequency grooves makes this tune sound very intricate)
Cadence = 9 (get your bass-face ready, it’s gonna get weird with your face muscles)
Sentiment = 7 (evokes hypnotic vibes but could have had more cohesion between the vocal sample & the beat using more melodies)

Median = 8.4

The Maker – Speak Up (Flowman Dub)

The Maker mixes up a mad dank ethnic dubstep beat with Flowman’s Groundhog Acapella to make one of the hardest hitting & grimiest vocal deep dubstep tunes of the year. Punchy sound meets tough production & soulful samples, & despite being only 2 minutes, this is that premium UK ting if you get wagwan.

Eccentricity = 8 (interesting meeting of grime & deep ethnic dubstep)
Lucidity = 9 (proper punchy & defined sound overall)
Intricacy = 8 (really timely & meticulous details to the beat, shame about the length)
Cadence = 10 (the combination of the beat & vocals sets it off full power)
Sentiment = 8 (underground beats meet Grime legend bootleg for authentic dutty wubbery)

Median = 8.6

OZFERTI – Blue Nile [Nubia Nova Records]

One of our new favourite producers of 2018, Ozferti celebrated reaching 1k FB followers with this freebie in the form of East African future bass. While sounding a little quiet on the master, the track itself is a brilliantly unique offering & gets our undivided attention in terms of composition, detail & vibe. Ozferti is proving to be one of the hottest artists on the blog this year & we warn you to keep close watch on this dude as an emerging big deal!

Eccentricity = 10 (Can’t say I’ve heard Nubian / jazzy East African future bass before)
Lucidity = 8 (Amazingly mixed, only loses some points due to the overall master quietness)
Intricacy = 10 (Superb balance of rich layers composed of percussions, keys, instruments, foley, basslines & timely FXs)
Cadence = 9 (An experimental groove, residing somewhere between chill, high octane dance & tripping over on the ground)
Sentiment = 8 (Not as directly Nubian as his other tunes, but credit should be given for the conceptually-related song title)

Median = 9

Casbah Beats – Club & Chillout Remixes [VA]

A 13-track compilation which celebrates the belly-dancing & shisha smoking Middle Eastern vibes, featuring Ethnofusion OGs, The Spy From Cairo, Drumspyder, & a number of other musicians. This compilation definitely comes in part with an old school type of aesthetic that your greasy uncles can get into, & in other part, the millennials who need those half-time 808 breaks to fit the trappy vibes of the times. However, overall, it is fairly obvious that this is a compilation curated through a more traditional belly dancing-oriented prism, evident through the licenser, Hollywood Music Center’s discography.

Eccentricity = 7 (proper old school sound, executed for older crowds)
Lucidity = 8 (varying level of quality on the songs with Drumspyder tunes being the most lucidly executed)
Intricacy = 10 (lots of instrumental & vocal goodness from veteran musicians)
Cadence = 9 (fully developed for dancing purposes, especially for the belly type)
Sentiment = 8 (crafted for a familiar environment of a hookah bar)

Median = 8.4

King Coya – Tierra de King Coya [ZZK Records]

Merging the worlds of South American folklore & dancefloor music, King Coya’s new album through ZZK Records is a brilliant meeting point between, Kuduro, Andean Dub, bass music, dancehall, & other varieties of South American grooves; having evolved this project since 2009, King Coya’s approach to this album is a nod to the many connections & remixes that have formed his collaborative discography, & this can be seen in the number of artists featured on this album, including La Yegros, Colombian & Argentinian influences from La Walichera, Peruvian influence of a Shipibo healer, & more. Overall, the album achieves King Coya & ZZK Records’ overall aim of bridging traditional & new strains of song & dance, & it’s perfect for those who enjoy sounds at this intersection.

Eccentricity = 8 (A wholesome experience of mixing existing genres)
Lucidity = 8 (very well mixed, slightly lacking <60hz from a sub-head perspective)
Intricacy = 10 (digital sounds, instruments & vocals are all utilised to a great extent)
Cadence = 9 (omni-groove presence & stylistic variety across this release)
Sentiment = 9 (certainly achieves the aim of mixing folklore & dancefloor)

Median = 8.8

Chancha Via Circuito – Bienaventuranza [Wonderwheel Recordings]

The long-awaited album by Chancha Via Circuito finally arrived this month via Wonderwheel Recordings after 4 years of preparation. Being somewhat of a trendsetter in South American cumbia-inspired electronic music since 2008 & partially responsible for the growth of this music across the continent’s borders, the Buenos Aires native, Pedro Canale, responsible for this project has proved once again why his sound has been so influential & legendary.

With a flawless approach to mixing & composition, the songs are equally poppy, dancey & inimitable. Flutes & charangos blend like hot butter in the fibres of the beat’s bread, served in all varieties across different songs. Tracks like Barú come with an old school hip-hop flavour mixed with thick Amazonian forest atmospheres, Ilaló ft. Mateo Kingman blends vocals, dancehall & cumbia, Sierra Nevada tackles an almost cartoon-like level of playfulness, while all other tracks all present a curious & distinct blend of house, dub & Andean folk.

Again, I feel incompetent in doing this review justice as I don’t understand Spanish & with such a vocal album, it is undoubtably important to grasp the lyrics. Nevertheless, even as an outsider looking in & on a purely sonic level, one can easily tell that this album is of exceptional quality & non-appropriated cultural value.

Eccentricity = 9 (almost any familiar vibe possible from the Andes is represented here)
Lucidity = 10 (probably one of the crispiest mixes on an album in this genre to date)
Intricacy = 10 (plenty of instruments, vocals, featured artists, atmospheric sounds & subtleties)
Cadence = 9 (tracks like Indios Tilcara, Ilalo & Baru have flawless groove & others are also majorly decent)
Sentiment = 10 (Summit tier of authenticity, cultural value & emotional response)

Median = 9.6

Andi Otto – Bow Wave [Nicola Cruz Remix]

Nicola Cruz’s remix of Andi Otto’s Bow Wave is a pretty strange ride & it manages to pull off a certain glitchy yet raw & natural feel which is unique to Nicola Cruz. This involves the bending & manipulating of numerous sounds as well as beautiful cello recordings from Grecia Albán, making this track a standout composition in all of downtechno world music.

Eccentricity = 9 (unique take on the entire downtempo world house genre)
Lucidity = 9 (organic feeling which makes you almost sense your presence in the recording room)
Intricacy = 9 (subtly minimal yet well-layered in harmony & multi-instrumentality)
Cadence = 9 (great balance between broken limping and trotting syncopation)
Sentiment = 8 (suffices at pure vibes & musical exploration)

Median = 8.8

Fernando Milagros – Cual es el secreto (Rodrigo Gallardo Remix) [Jungla Music]

Taken from a remix EP by Fernando Milagros, this tune from Rodrigo Gallardo stood out for us per usual with it’s crispy juxtaposition of vintage feel & crispy production. Definitely an instantly recognisable Rodrigo Gallardo sound once again with subtle electronics & an undoubtedly folk-driven quality.

Eccentricity = 9 (not too far out of the ordinary but undeniably detectable as Rodrigo Gallardo)
Lucidity = 9 (unique lo-fi vibe without sounding underdeveloped)
Intricacy = 9 (well-represented on digital & analog elements)
Cadence = 10 (soulful roller, perfect for dancefloors)
Sentiment = n/a (again, not possible for me to comment due to lack of skill in Spanish language)

Median = 9.25

James Stewart – Cotounou EP [Alma Negra]

As an active ethnomusicologist who pursues an intellectual aspect of world music & cultural promotion, James Stewart aims to fulfil his mission of promoting ‘black music’ through this EP. The songs are inspired by music & grooves from Benin & Zimbabwe, places where the artist’s purposeful travels have taken him to numerous times. While the album provides on the four to the floor vibes, Juju Chill provides the most challenging time signatures on the album & it’s a perfect example of how ‘Western’ producers can use world music to explore totally new territories of groove beyond the saturated 4/4 market. Props should also be given to James Stewart on the huge credits for this album, with original recordings of guitars, bass, keyboards, baritone saxophone, congos & more.

Eccentricity = 8 (familiar collection of afrohouse tunes with Juju Chill getting full points in weirdness)
Lucidity = 9 (instrument & vocal-driven mixing style with a welcome vinyl feel)
Intricacy = 10 (great ‘band music’ feel with plentiful instruments)
Cadence = 10 (soulful roller, perfect for dancefloors)
Sentiment = 10 (the deep cultural authenticity & effort that has gone into this release is exemplary)

Median = 9.4

Sol Selectas – Summer Sol III (VA)

The third edition of Sol Selectas’ Summer Sol compilations is here, & it is all anyone could ask for in the realm of world house; including 30 songs, 35 artists from 20 countries & lyrics in 8 languages, the album is jampacked with different iterations of house music, featuring heavyweights & newcomer producers alike. From the guitar-laden sound of thds, to the Mexican shamanism of Eduardo Castillo, the desert roller sound of Megablast’s collaboration with the legendary Bahramji, Cuneyt Cilingiroglu’s atmospheric percussive house, a lot of ground is covered in this massive compilation, & for everyone who likes this successful groovy formula, this is essential listening.

Eccentricity = 8 (Not ground-breakingly experimental but omni-present ambassadorship of house varieties)
Lucidity = 9 (almost all tracks are immaculately produced & mastered, very consistent overall)
Intricacy = 10 (definitely as intricate as compilation albums within one genre can go)
Cadence = 9 (groove-driven music with plenty of flavour, syncopations & timbre)
Sentiment = 8 (songs from all over the planet to celebrate the summer months & its associated vibe)

Median = 8.8

Cigarra – Ato [Tropical Twista Records]

As one of the key figures at the great Tropical Twista Records & a brilliant experimental downtempo artist from Brazil, Cigarra has regularly impressed this blog with her song features on compilations, as well as curation work at TTR. Her latest EP through Tropical Twista Records follows a similar aesthetic, & despite my lack of understanding of Portuguese, what I have gathered is that the EP is an experimental project in collaboration with a number of partnerships, including the Brazilian actress crew, Cia. Nosotras, and it sonificates social commentary through an almost ‘aural theatre’ approach.

Each tale on the album relates to a specific struggle from various women’s perspectives; the first track sets off the rebellious yet graceful message of the release with a beautiful atmospheric, spoken word and singing blend. The second track focuses on the plight of Bolivian worker women in Brazil, & the third track enables a protest, lyrically encouraging women to shatter barriers, as well as sonically manifested through sounds of breaking glass.

This feminist approach of collaboration on the EP is echoed almost unanimously through the credits, with a nearly-entirely female cast of participation in the songs and mastering. Overall, one can only have nothing but respect for music with a social message, and despite the language barrier, this attitude comes off strongly and wholeheartedly.

Eccentricity = 9 (cinematic vocal-driven downtempo music with plenty of atmospheric uniqueness)
Lucidity = 9 (vinyl aesthetics, making foley-driven music sound suitable for gramophones)
Intricacy = 9 (minimal execution, yet creating an almost physical sound palette)
Cadence = 8 (somewhat stripped back in terms of groove but still very easy to bop to)
Sentiment = 10 (socially-charged, rebellious and purposeful feminism atop high quality musical offerings)

Median = 9

Sonia Calico – Desert Trance EP [Minimal Surface]

Sonica Calico’s steady rise through the ranks continues with this fresh new EP, representing her wide-ranging cross-genre aesthetic of production. In the 5 tracks, she glides through many strands of bass music, all tied together with a signature oriental vibe. Memory Dies In Your Dream & Love Hate Relationship merge breaks with Chinese military marching band drums, Doll combines flutes with a dancehall groove & plenty of foley cinematics, Desert Trance manages to bring trance synths into the oriental trappy breakbeat vibes, & Nightmares About Past & Future ends the EP in a crunked out & gangsta mashup of trap, kuduro, trance & Far Eastern samples.

Since emerging on our radar in the Do Hits compilations a few years ago, Sonia Calico has always been one to watch out for & it seems like her time to shine is slowly approaching as she gets noticed by more labels, blogs & more high-profile interviews. She is also one of those artists who’s comfortably transcending the niche of being a ‘female & Asian producer’, showing a brave approach to production that’s of an artistic value far beyond identity politics & marketing.

Definitely one of our favour releases of this month!

Eccentricity = 9 (Courageous blend of genres in a recognisable format unique to the artist)
Lucidity = 9 (Highly hi-fidelity sound with a careful balance of vapor aesthetic & crispiness)
Intricacy = 10 (Great blend of organic drums & melodies, foley grooves, strange synths & layered basslines)
Cadence = 10 (High-energy well-syncopated grooves from across BPMs)
Sentiment = 9 (The EP definitely meets the vibe & expectation of being based on a ‘Desert Trance’ idea)

Median = 9.4

Stas – Stanislove [Babylon Records]

The Babylon Records founder gives us his first release of 2018, an 8-track album featuring a wide variety of vibes from around the world, glued together in the post-trap IDM Babylonian aesthetic of global bass music. Immediately from the opening track, the fun approach to the release becomes apparent; opening with the Portuguese high-pitched soundbites of Acriancado (translating to Childish), & the Nepali folk vibes on Rati which reminds me of my personal trips in local buses along Himalayan mountains, the song goes on a pre-dominantly major chord-driven & playful vibe, progressing to the Lion King-esque forest vibes on the experimentally-composed “In A Flash”, and space-Hindu vibes of Woods Pt.2, Gori Gori, and Stanislove.

Overall, Stat’s Stanislove album is a very refreshing take on global bass music and it comes with an almost 80s level of blissful happiness, funkiness and joy; something that the more mystical strands global bass music regularly miss.

Eccentricity = 9 (unique bouncy and positive cross-genre world-influenced future bass music)
Lucidity = 9 (triple-distilled crystal clear production all across the board)
Intricacy = 8 (not insanely detailed and instrumental but cleverly-layered and engaging)
Cadence = 8 (does not disappoint in groove despite all the experimental values)
Sentiment = 9 (the songs certainly put the LOVE in Stanislove, as intended by the artist)

Median = 8.6

Psychoz & Earth Connect – Ancient Dreams [Visionary Shamanics]

Another link up this month comes through Visionary Shamanics in the form of Psychoz & Earth Connect’s whirling tribal bass track, slowly evolving at the mid-tempo pace with plenty of percussive groove, melodic juice and fx flavour. The song certainly comes with a bit of an old-school flavour but manages to remain contemporary for the most part. Stellar work with melodic atmosphere building overall!

Eccentricity = 8 (familiar modular-sounding synthesis atop a curious steady groove)
Lucidity = 9 (very well-mixed and balance achieved between the many present sounds)
Intricacy = 9 (melodically dense, percussively engaging through-composition)
Cadence = 9 (slow roller, sidewinding its locomotion across the dancefloor)
Sentiment = 8 (familiar chakra-expanding and spiritual retrospective silk road vibes)

Median = 8.6

SOOHAN – Asyamo!

A solid and fresh dose of SOOHAN-style crunk, with the distinct 808 & chant-driven groove, solid production & an undeniably dancey feel. This one almost feels like a footwork track at some points, coming as a heavier SOOHAN moment & that’s definitely not a negative thing. ASYAMO! ASYAMO! (try to get that one out your head)

Eccentricity = 8 (undeniable SOOHAN sound, done in a slightly predictable yet signature sound)
Lucidity = 9 (music for sound-systems, sold out clubs & crispy experience on dancefloors)
Intricacy = 9 (definitely an increased use of atmospheric nuances & elements which is awesome)
Cadence = 10 (the definition of a dancefloor banger – no escaping the dance to this)
Sentiment = 7 (would have been great to get some insight into which cultural influence it represents)

Median = 8.6

Barbatuques – Kererê (CloZee Remix)

We welcome CloZee back to the blog with her official & second remix for the Brazilian band, Barbatuques, following her highly successful take on the group’s song, “Baiana”. With a somewhat stripped-down approach to this tune & its groove, CloZee focuses on delivering her authentic triumphant feels, formed from a solid nu-hop beat, positive chord progressions, chant vocals & synthesised rhythms.

Eccentricity = 8 (Easily recognisable CloZee sound with signature synths, claps & drumlines)
Lucidity = 9 (Now in the ranks of a mainstage artist, CloZee productions are neatly quality-controlled)
Intricacy = 8 (Slightly stripped-back production, the synths could have been more modulated)
Cadence = 9 (Perfect for the kind of dance you want to partake in after celebrating a victory)
Sentiment = 9 (CloZee & Barbatuques collaborations are a brilliant all-ages representation of global bass music; for the kids & adults alike!)

Median = 8.6

Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones – God [Planet Mu]

A high profile ethnofusion track this month comes from Sinjin Hawke, a producer who’s worked with renowned artists like Kanye & Just Blaze. The track is a collaboration with the audiovisual artist, Zora Jones & it’s primarily based around a beautiful Bulgarian choir sample, toughened with hard-hitting 808s, tribal drums & snakey processed vocal chops. The song is a total banger & it should be a perfect tune for fans of banger world bass artists like SOOHAN.

Big ups go to Planet Mu as well for endorsing the global bass movement!

Eccentricity = 8 (Folk bass music executed to a pretty unique level)
Lucidity = 10 (Wide, detailed, yet pronounced use of sounds)
Intricacy = 9 (Very clever use of subtle nuances, sparsely spaced with aural feng shui)
Cadence = 9 (Lovely switch-ups between trap, dancehall & tribal, adding tons of groove flavour)
Sentiment = 7 (Not sure what the relationship between God & this track is but I think he/she would approve of the vibes)

Median = 8.6

Low-Up Records – 10YRS Later: A Global Club Compilation [VA]

Low-Up Records celebrate 10 years of activity as a global bass label, featuring a wide-array of producers from Europe, the US & Africa, some of which we have previously featured before on individual occasions. Per recent usual, Ozferti gives us one of his personal best tracks and the standout one from this compilation in the form of African hyper-footwork, Gan Gah gives us his unique Moroccan juke bass flavour, & most of the other producers give us their take on all things afrobeat & afrohouse.

One thing that is certain about this release is that there is a real sense of passion for global bass party music in this collective & the fact that they are still going strong after 10 years is testament to their collective passion. Cheers to them & toast to another 10 years!

Eccentricity = 8 (mostly familiar afrobeats variations with a few unexpectedly experimental scores)
Lucidity = 8 (some of the songs are slightly too lo-fi for me but it works on a ghetto level of aesthetics)
Intricacy = 8 (15 tracks with plenty of variation throughout while staying true to the overall sound)
Cadence = 9 (any fan of fun, dancey authentic afro-bass music will dig this)
Sentiment = 10 (veteran label celebrating their decade of activities in the genre is something we admire fully)

Median = 8.6

Cirqular – Naked Reality EP [Triple Drop Productions]

Bringing the vibes from Mexico, Cirqular dropped this 3-track EP, bringing vibes in new school breakbeat, midtempo, & tribal drum n bass. The whole EP is quite a strong display of musicianship, but the cream of the crop is within the last track for me, with how the chanty world elements interact with the fast drumstep / drum n hop exchanging beat. Solid work!

Eccentricity = 7.5 (Principal sound with a lot of old school flavour in a contemporary package)
Lucidity = 9 (Tracks are very-well mixed & all instruments come through well)
Intricacy = 8 (Lots of tribal melodies to get the vibes flowing, missing slightly on intricate percussive foley detail)
Cadence = 8.5 (Track 1 & 3 are full of groove, while the second track falls short slightly in melodic rhythm)
Sentiment = 7 (Not much conceptuality beyond the love for digital walks in ancient forest)

Median = 8.0

Byzantine Time Machine – Adventure in Istanbul (El-M3allem Remix) [Outtallectuals]

Finishing this month’s picks with a tune of our own, this one was conceived through the Egyptian ethnic trap producer, El M3allem’s take on Byzantine Time Machine’s ubber-hit, Adventure in Istanbul. We basically asked him to go as weird as he likes on this remix, resulting in a pretty outlandish mix of high energy trap, Byzantine instruments & metal. The song is totally bat shit crazy which is why we love it, but it’s also understandable why some wouldn’t enjoy the slightly cheesy risers. Either way, long live the absurd!

Eccentricity = 9 (almost a fully novel idea if it wasn’t for the predictable trap composition)
Lucidity = 8 (nice overall blend of genre aesthetics with slight shortcoming on the guitar sounds)
Intricacy = 9 (an absurd amount of different sounds & influences on this one)
Cadence = 9 (dance & mosh friendly depending on your mood)
Sentiment = 7 (not much there beyond a fun & bizarre experimentation)

Median = 8.4

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