It’s been bad all around. The anxiety and uncertainty have been killing. Paranoia, sleepless nights, and a feeling of helplessness about the situation at hand have been the highlights of the past two months.
If you are an optimist and are a little compulsive about searching for silver linings , well, we lucky, cause there are a few – First – if you are reading this it probably means you are okay and not walking the streets hungry to get home – a great time to acknowledge and be thankful for the privilege we have and take for granted. Second – It’s been a great time for music – the isolation and its resultant emotional impact has seen artists dive into different corners of their artistic worldview and produce some phenomenal tunes . More content – less packaging seems to be the norm. That’s great , cause I believe we have more time to actually , genuinely listen. Here are some releases of the past week or so that I would recommend you invest your time, ears and emotions into.
Kaali Duniya – Communal Politics
Kaali Duniya is the alter ego of Bamboy – one of the producers from the Mumbai based conscious Hip Hop Crew – Swadesi. Kaali Duniya highlights his love for bass and his fierce loyalty to the political and musical underground. A straight up critique of the use of media manipulations to sell lies , incite fear and paranoia in the name of religion . With news and interview samples spread throughout the track , blended with a sampled guitar solo (no kidding) and good old drum n bass – this is political dance music at its best.
Oranssi Pazzuzu – Mestarin Kynsi ( Live)
It’s been the season of substandard live streams and shitty wifi connections. The novelty of people performing “live on instagram” lasted as long as Modijis speeches and was about as effective.
There are some artists who have gotten it right and put in the effort required to innovate but never forget the importance of delivering a great sounding, great looking , non cliched experience. The Finnish band – Oranssi Pazzuz have been expanding the boundaries of heavy music and black metal since some years – rejecting the traditional ideas of distortion and intense drumming to make anything sound heavy – but relying more on mood and atmosphere to drag you down into the crushing depths of metal.
They released a stream of them performing their latest ritual Mestarin Kynsi – Live on Youtube. Smart lighting, amazing music and just hypnotic playing, The album was originally meant to be performed in full at Roadburn Festival 2020, but due to Covid-19, the festival had to be rescheduled. This concert is free. However, if you wish to make a donation to help out the band and the crew, you are most welcome to do so.
Mogwai – ZeroZeroZero
Mogwai’s recent output has been more focused on creating soundtracks, scoring films/ series rather than albums. That said- the still are the masters of mood and emotion – creafting a singular musical language that is capable of soundtracking almost every emotion you feel.
They released their score to the Italian series ZeroZeroZero on a pay what you want basis with proceeds going to the NHS (UK) and HelpMusicians
Puscifer – Apocalyptical
Maynard James Keenan being unusually productive is always a good sign for the geeks . Puscifer release a song after 5 years – Weird video, surprisingly direct lyrics and a song that gets better after each listen.
“Go on, moron, Ignore the evidence. Skid in to Armageddon”
Corner Cafe Chronicles – Midas
Caught them at Control ALT Delete this year – just when you thought alt rock was dying a slow death – comes a band that reminds you of all that was good about it but at the same time doesnt dwell in nostalgia and brings the sound to the present. Corner cafe Chronicles released their new single – Midas – off their coming album – Renaissance. A great hook that will stick with you for some time and channeling some strong STP vibes.
Paradise Lost – Darker Thoughts
Pioneers of Doom / Goth Metal – Paradise Lost are coming out with their 16th Album ! More Rock than Metal – the album’s lead single Darker Thoughts showcase the bands strengths – hooky guitars with a lot of feel, dual vocal styles, polished crisp production . Its as obious a Paradise Lost song as it can be – good for fans for the band, newer listeners might find it a little dated.
Khruangbin – So We Won’t Forget
Watching Khruangbin perform inside the suburban mediocrity of Kamal Mills “Flyp” was a one of last years’ WTF moments. Some things are just too bizarre to be explained, just lucky for having experienced it.
Khruangbin drop a new single from their upcoming album. The song is velvety, retro,stylish and funky. It’s like Khruangbin went a lil more 80’s Sade and less desert psychedelia.
Tesseract – Live in the Lockdown
Another example of how to do Live Streams right. With things opening up a little we hope that musicians in the country will up their game and deliver better quality pieces of entertainment. Tesseract play 4 songs off their latest album Sonder and sound leaps and bounds above anything you’ve heard streamed live.
Sundog Project – The Only Person on Earth
Rahul Das channels melancholy , introspective , ambient soundscapes through his avatar of Sundog Project- Formerly a collective / revolving door of musicians – this collection is more of Rahul Das’ personal musings . Fairly “out there” in terms of structures and ambience – I firmly believe him to be one of the most underrated musicians on the scene.
Bamboy and Raakshas- Kaala
Bamboy and Raakshas are the producers responsible for the dark , grimey, Indian folk influenced political beats for Swadesi. They have collaborated to showcase Bamboy’s MC ing skills in this track called Kaala. Bars full of truth bombs – this is the true representation of the Bombay Hip Hop Underground – not the pedestrian gully rap being peddled around.