Wild City Singled Out: January 2016
8 February 2016
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us privately on SoundCloud.
Wild City came back to HQ post New Year’s to find our inboxes and social media feeds flooded with music by producers and musicians from South Asia.
Apart from a couple of albums and EPs (covered in our news section), most of the output came in the form of singles. It only made sense to gather everything we thought was worth your time onto one list. Singled Out will be released on our website every month with fresh new tunes for you to peruse.
We’ve culled the list down to 10 singles by producers from South Asia. Read and listen below:
Wild City was divided on this one. Sure, ‘Climb’ is a bit confused and disjointed (you could chop it up into three different songs, honestly) and the vocal refrain while pretty, sounded a bit obligatory. But Tankbund’s brand of synth pop is interesting enough to make us sit up and pay attention and we’re hoping we get a good follow up to last year’s more lo-fi, downtempo ‘Inside’ EP.
Our neighbours in Sri Lanka have been on the DL lately so it was nice to hear something new from the region. Featuring the soulful vocals of Q, Bo Sedkid’s ‘Control’ is that undulating, R&B influenced kind of electronica that would fit into a Majestic Casual playlist with ease (thigh-gaps, beaches and all).
Profound’s ‘Returning Rituals’ EP was one of the better hip-hop releases we had last year. The producer’s latest single has got this high pitched, almost aggressive bansuri looping in the background that gets a bit overbearing in the first half, but apart from that it’s pretty solid. We’re looking forward to what the young Chandigarh based beatmaker has to offer in the future.
Sid Vashi has a certain fondness for Bollywood music that was popular at a time when Ajay Devgn still had the ‘a’ in his last name. An older tune salvaged in the wake of a ‘devastating hard drive crash’, ‘Sleep’ layers jazzy trumpet over A.R. Rahman’s adventurous Dn’B influenced ‘Dol Dol’ from Mani Ratnam’s 2004 film Yuva (remember that the video in which Abhishek Bachhan alternates between shimmying at Rani Mukherji and beating the shit out of people?). Sounds odd on paper but works quite beautifully, and apparently there’s an entire EP of older material coming soon.
‘POLO’ is Disco Puppet’s last 'Weekend Sound' (hashtag #nomoar) and marks a sufficiently strange end to a sufficiently strange series. ‘POLO’ sounds like Disco Puppet’s stream of conscious translated into song. It’s got these weird, tongue-in-cheek, high-pitched vocals (‘it’s a partay it’s your birthday!’ ‘pew pew’), which splashes a bit of humour and animation to the whole thing. If Biswas manages to streamline all those unique but scattered thoughts successfully, it could make for something very interesting.
One of our favourite artists from Karachi, Nawksh has been hustling hard this month, releasing 6 short singles onto his SoundCloud so far. We’ve embedded ‘Hash & Slack’ below, which is a languid, grainy little number with a heavy beat and fuzzy vocals. Head over to NAWKSH’s SoundCloud to listen to the rest.
Superflow_8 also released a downtempo number this January where he plays around with minimal beats that pick up tempo slightly as the song progresses. It’s a pretty little tune, albeit a bit too inoffensive. Hopefully there’s a lot more to come.
Not technically an Indian resident (but we’re appropriating him anyway), Iyer collaborates with Mushroom Buttons for ‘Lotta Kush’, which if you didn’t guess is about the good herb a.k.a. Gorilla Glue a.k.a. Bob Hope. Iyer stays true to himself and maintains that 160 footwork bpm layered with a shoulder shaking vocal loop to build up some energy. The production’s solid and it’s an enjoyable dance-floor friendly tune in general.
Blent was one of those artists in the recesses who we were hoping to hear something new from since his ominous 2013 EP ‘Dusk’. ‘Scowl’, created with Daisho, maintains that gloomy atmosphere that makes Blent’s music what it is with its ghostly vocals and deep, obsidian basslines and grooves. The moody undertones are palpable i.e. you’re going to piss off your friends if you try and pregame to this (I’ve tried, so believe me).
Pakistani producer and FXS member JOFÚ put out two new singles this month after a long, long time. ‘Swerve’ and ‘Pouring’ are robust, maximalist tunes that restrain themselves enough to avoid becoming too audacious. Both tunes are bright, cleanly structured and bound to grab your attention on first listen. We’ve embedded ‘Pouring’ below but you can head over to JOFÚ’s SoundCloud here for more.
Popular electronic act Nanok, a.k.a. Jai Vaswani collaborated last year with Akshay Johar (Mojojojo) for ‘Greed is Good’, featuring the voice of Reisa. Nanok's flip, which came out earlier this month and caught a lot of peoples attention has got some interesting beats and a nice, undulating groove running through it and even though we aren’t big fans of what they’ve done with the vocals, we still prefer it to ‘Superfly’.
Thumb image courtesy Disco Puppet
Main image courtesy Superflow
Words: Diya Gupta