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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » Ammar Kalia


One to watch: Galya Bisengalieva

Delivered... Ammar Kalia | Scene | Sat 1 Jun 2019 2:00 pm

She’s played for Radiohead and Frank Ocean, but now the violinist welcomes you into her own musical world

You’ve probably heard Galya Bisengalieva’s violin before. Her sweepingly melodic and yet piercingly brittle bowing and plucking is a distinct, elevating voice on everything from Jonny Greenwood’s soundtracks for Phantom Thread and You Were Never Really Here to Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool and Frank Ocean’s Blonde. As leader of the London Contemporary Orchestra, the Kazakh-British violinist is used to making other people’s compositions her own, but with her second solo release, EP Two, Bisengalieva moves centrestage.

Comprised of pieces written by turntablist and composer Shiva Feshareki and experimental composer Chaines, as well as one by Bisengalieva herself, the resulting record is a deep dive into a digital orchestra of her own making. Opener Zohra, by Feshareki, features droning strings scraping across fractal drum’n’bass, while Chaines’s Claycorn resolves into captivating techno, reminiscent of Bisengalieva’s work with the producer Actress on 2018’s Lageos. The highlight comes on Bisengalieva’s Umay, where she builds siren-like strings into a terror-inducing crescendo.

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One to watch: Galya Bisengalieva

Delivered... Ammar Kalia | Scene | Sat 1 Jun 2019 2:00 pm

She’s played for Radiohead and Frank Ocean, but now the violinist welcomes you into her own musical world

You’ve probably heard Galya Bisengalieva’s violin before. Her sweepingly melodic and yet piercingly brittle bowing and plucking is a distinct, elevating voice on everything from Jonny Greenwood’s soundtracks for Phantom Thread and You Were Never Really Here to Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool and Frank Ocean’s Blonde. As leader of the London Contemporary Orchestra, the Kazakh-British violinist is used to making other people’s compositions her own, but with her second solo release, EP Two, Bisengalieva moves centrestage.

Comprised of pieces written by turntablist and composer Shiva Feshareki and experimental composer Chaines, as well as one by Bisengalieva herself, the resulting record is a deep dive into a digital orchestra of her own making. Opener Zohra, by Feshareki, features droning strings scraping across fractal drum’n’bass, while Chaines’s Claycorn resolves into captivating techno, reminiscent of Bisengalieva’s work with the producer Actress on 2018’s Lageos. The highlight comes on Bisengalieva’s Umay, where she builds siren-like strings into a terror-inducing crescendo.

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Teeth of the Sea: Wraith review – sonic dystopians explore ambient brass

Delivered... Ammar Kalia | Scene | Fri 22 Feb 2019 11:30 am

(Rocket Recordings)

The trumpets that permeate Teeth of the Sea’s fifth album act like the prophetic horns of Jericho. Laid thick with reverb, they herald the dystopian landscape the London-based trio create through nine tracks of scattering electronic percussion, earthy bass lines and eerie ambience.

Largely instrumental, Wraith plays more like a slab of techno experimentalism than the noise-based maw of their previous record, 2015’s Highly Deadly Black Tarantula. The brutality dissipates on opener I’d Rather, Jack courtesy of Italo disco synths pilfered from Erol Alkan’s Phantasy Sound studio, where this album was recorded. As Wraith progresses, club sounds morph into the jazz horns and dissonant bass of Hiraeth, before taking a breath in the brassy ambience of Burn of the Shieling.

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The birth of Asian underground: ‘This music was for us and by us, and that was very powerful’

Delivered... Ammar Kalia | Scene | Fri 11 Jan 2019 9:00 am

Twenty years ago a new movement blending eastern sounds with electro and drum’n’bass arrived to give a generation of young British Asians a vibrant new voice. Why did it fade away so quickly?

When most Brits think of Asian music – if they do at all – they might conjure a twanging sitar and the high-pitched vocals of a Bollywood dance sequence blaring in an Indian restaurant, or the meditative chimes and chanting of a yoga session. In reality, of course, Asian music is a vast and diverse series of musical disciplines, and one that had been reduced, in the UK, to the reserve of anoraks and first-generation immigrants. But in the 90s, a scene came along to change all of that.

Twenty years ago, the Asian underground was born. A product of the first wave of Asian immigration into the UK in the early 60s and their children growing up in a newly diversifying society – one imbued with the racism of the National Front, as well as with a burgeoning multiculturalism from the Caribbean and west Africa – the music these first-generation British Asians made was full of internal tension. It was a mix of Indian classical instrumentals, Bollywood singing, jazz and the 90s club sounds of dub, drum’n’bass and jungle.

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One to Watch: Ross from Friends

Delivered... Ammar Kalia | Scene | Sat 14 Jul 2018 1:59 pm
Producer Felix Clary Weatherall’s debut album is inspired by his dance music upbringing

This isn’t a debut music project from David Schwimmer, but the tongue-in-cheek moniker of British record producer Felix Clary Weatherall.

Raised in Colchester, Essex, in a musical household – his father designed electronic and techno sound systems, and met Weatherall’s mother during a tour of Europe in 1990 – Weatherall was drawn to the lo-fi sounds of his father’s analogue tapes and synthesisers, and working in music seemed a natural progression. Having released a number of propulsive dancefloor singles on UK labels Magicwire and Lobster Theremin, he has now graduated to LA beat-maker Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder labe, and his debut album, Family Portrait, arrives later this month.

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Oneohtrix Point Never: Age Of review – a subversion of expectations

Delivered... Ammar Kalia | Scene | Sun 3 Jun 2018 9:00 am

(Warp)

The twinkling baroque harpsichord that opens producer Daniel Lopatin’s latest album is a perfect representation of his unpredictable work. Having made his name over the past decade with albums that encompass noise music, synthesiser-heavy electronics, and luscious harmonies, his ninth record continues his legacy of off-kilter composition and unexpected instrumentation.

Lopatin, AKA Oneohtrix Point Never, has become increasingly collaborative in recent years, producing for David Byrne, writing for singers FKA Twigs and Anohni, and composing an eerie soundtrack for the Safdie brothers’ 2017 film Good Time. As such, Age Of is a collective effort, employing Anohni’s choral vocals on the distortion-heavy Same, noise artist Prurient’s screams on Warning and James Blake’s keyboards on the pixelated melodies of Still Stuff That Doesn’t Happen.

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Actress x London Contemporary Orchestra: Lageos review – an intriguing hybrid

Delivered... Ammar Kalia | Scene | Sun 27 May 2018 7:00 am
(Ninja Tune)

At a first glance, techno and contemporary classical music do not seem like ideal partners. One, a bass-heavy hedonistic genre designed for dancefloors, the other suited to the calm of the concert hall. Yet Darren Cunningham, aka electronic producer Actress, and the London Contemporary Orchestra have built their careers in pushing boundaries of genre.

Both sets of artists explore the hybridity between the electronic and the acoustic: the LCO regularly records experimental film scores, including Jonny Greenwood’s recent anxiety-inducing compositions for You Were Never Really Here, and last year Actress performed a live rendition of Steve Reich’s 1988 work Different Trains. On Lageos, rather than have the orchestra approximate the alien sounds of Actress’s electronics, they formulate a new sonic palette that is in equal measures intriguing and unsettling.

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