Listen: Kumail ‘Links’ LP
19 February 2016
'Link's' is an album we’ve been keen to listen to since Mumbai artist Kumail released ‘Flashbulb Memories’ in 2014 and its successor ‘Shift’ last year. Both were billowy little downtempo EPs, which were nice enough to grab some attention. However, we all know that “nice” only goes so far and we’ve felt that Kumail’s music, while pretty, has always been just a tad too cautious and a just little bit reserved.
We’re happy to say that the same can’t be said for Kumail's debut album, released earlier this month. 'Links' is by far one of the better downtempo albums we’ve heard in a long, long time and it finally feels like Kumail knows the direction he wants to take his music.
The first thing we noticed was the obvious Shlohmo influence - something that Kumail’s acknowledged on a number of occasions. You’ll hear variations on elastic strings, lo-fi metallic plinks and right from album opener ‘Fields’ to its serene closer ‘Cupotea’.
The measured use of his own vocals and the additions of the harmonica and guitar, along with some nicely placed sitar and tabla samples added a certain amount of authenticity and rawness to the whole thing. That is, unlike its predecessors (which explored the more in-fashion ‘cosmic/future’ sound) ‘Links’ feels like it grew straight up from the soil of the third rock.
We really enjoyed the nostalgia-soaked, ‘vibe’-heavy release. Kumail will be launching his LP tonight (19 February) at Bandstand in New Delhi with fellow producer Curtain Blue. Make sure you drop by; details here.
Album art: Nirvair Nath and Dheer Kaku
Words: Diya Gupta