Soul At The Kaur
26 April 2013
With no disrespect intended towards the emcees, the big winner on this track is Xitanos. The nigh ungoogleable producer has laced up a track that might well be the best straight ahead hip-hop beat that we’ve ever heard come out of India.
With a production style reminiscent of the cinematic beat-smithery of Blu or Lushlife, Xitanos wraps orchestral string flourishes from film overtures of decades gone by around dusty soul drum loops. Vinyl crackles and pops envelop the Hindi vocal samples that are subtly hinted at throughout the track. The beat is lush and inviting; the kind of music seemingly made for early Sunday afternoons and hammocks and recovery from a Saturday night that went a little too hard, just as it should.
Bigg Taj’s laid-back flow catches the groove well, melting into it and building the atmosphere in the same way that Guru always complimented a Premier beat without overwhelming it. Manmeet Kaur’s conscious lyrics are a pleasant change of pace from much of the hip-hop coming out of her native Chandigarh, and we dig the throwback Roots reference. But at times, Manmeet sounds like she might need to loosen up a little before she gets in the booth. We’re not trying to tell her what to drink or smoke, but conscious need not mean self conscious.
We’re happy to see Manmeet rhyming over such a well made beat. Here’s to future collaborations with Xitanos.
Words: Kerry Harwin (Border Movement)