Wild City handpicks the most interesting one-off singles released by artists in South-Asia in our new monthly feature - Singled Out. If you’d like us to listen to your music, send the relevant info to email@example.com or contact us privately on SoundCloud.
‘Big Surprise’ by Prateek Kuhad
Featuring his signature soft vocals that are brimming with feels (goes without saying) ‘Big Surprise’ is a pretty little number about leaving home that’s sure to please Kuhad’s ever widening fan base. My complaint with his music is the same as always – lyrically a bit safe and just a pinch too sugary (though to be fair, this was released as a free DL with a chocolate bar). We’re not saying Prateek should suddenly start singing about endless ennui and the inevitability of death. We’re saying that beautiful, stark but simply structured music like his is complimented best by lyrics that leave some sort of impact on the listener.
‘Some Sort of Refraction’ by Six Flying Whales
Released to get the hype up Six Flying Whales debut album ‘Clepsydra’ (which came out via Bangalore Recording Company), ‘Some Sort of Refraction’ is an instrumental treat featuring broken percussion and over warm, animated melody.
‘Nam Myoho Renge Kyo’ by Komorebi
‘Nam Myoho Renge Kyo’ is a well-known Buddhist chant that Tarana Marwah uses as the centre of her new single, which premiered on Kintsugi Studios. She proves just why she’s considered one of our better female producers, delivering a delicately performed tune live, with vocals on point. All I’m going to say about the song itself is that it is sparkly. Make of that what you will.
‘Getting Closer’ by Hatim
New tune from the Forever South camp in Karachi! ‘Getting Coser’ is Hatim’s debut release, and it’s got a distinctly Purity Ring-esque vibe to it. Think audacious crystalline synth, heavily processed vocal samples and understated percussion. There’s a lot going on and this side of electronica is one that tends to put me off quite often, but Hatim restrained himself enough to avoid his work becoming overwhelming or cheesy. Interesting and certainly worth keeping an eye on.
‘inner - cadillac – er’ by Profound
Great tune. And we give it an extra 10 points for featuring Snoop's 'Back up'. Based on his recent offerings on SoundCloud, Profound seems to be going towards that more lo-fi, slightly art-hop influenced, irreverent side of hip-hop. We’re all in and very keen to see where it goes, check out his SoundCloud for more gems, he's been releasing a lot lately.
‘Switching Rails’ by Sandunes
Sandunes wins the award for most prolific artist of 2016. It feels like not a single week has gone by without new material or projects. ‘Switching Rails’ is part of Red Bull 20 Before 17, a look back at Red Bull’s year in music through its 20 biggest moments. It was also a result of her Searching For Sounds Project, which saw her travel though her hometown Mumbai and create a track with the sounds she heard. ‘Switching Rails’ is catchy and has got lots of detailing – have a listen and see what you make of it.
‘Hypocrite’ by Jamblu
Kartik Pillai’s latest is surprisingly accessible and bright compared to his other creations under his solo avatar, but despite building up nicely towards the end, ‘Hypocrite’ doesn’t quite pack the punch we’ve come to expect from his. Still, it’s nice to see Jamblu exploring new territory.
*Update: ‘Hypocrite’ has two parts, so it’s technically not a single and more like a mini-EP. It’s also my duty to inform you that the second part, featuring Hashback Hashish does pack the punch we’ve come to expect*
‘Dangerous’ by Ravana
Ravana’s released lots of solid tunes this past year. He leans towards a more dancefloor friendly aesthetic with ‘Dangerous’ – a complete earworm that’s simultaneously accessible and completely warped. The vocal sample mixed in with that fat bass is straight fire, even if the final product sounds a bit incomplete.
‘Can't Touch Me’ by Aqua Dominatrix
I didn’t know what a Bizzarrini 5300GT Strada was and a perfunctory Google search told me it was a well-known vintage car model that a lot of patrol-heads seemed to be swooning over. Excuse my ignorance, I don’t care about cars at all and the fact that someone would write music dedicated to one baffles me. As a tune, however, ‘Can't Touch Me’ it might be one of the best things we’ve heard from Aqua Dominatrix in a while – replete with warm analogue synth over a smooth bass line that’s bound to make all the 80s revivalists out there very happy.
'Tehelka' by Naezy
Naezy’s rapped about Mumbai, politics and life on the streets, and now he spits fire about state of desi hip-hop itself in ‘Tehelka’, where he takes on the so-called kings of Indian rap, criticises their shallow lyricism and highlights his own quest to raise the bar and push the movement forward. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Naezy leads the pack lyrically. His words are in equal parts powerful and poetically expressed. Tune wise? There’s still a long way to go and the missing link now is to balance those instense lyrics with music that does them justice (surprising, Sez usually gets it right).
Words: Diya Gupta
Image credit: Six Flying Whales
12 January 2017