Saturday, October 24, 2015

Adham Shaikh's Basswalla Is Atmospheric Awesomeness

After scoring soundtracks and producing others work, Basswalla is Adham Shaikh's first new original material in five years and it would seem that he's not lost a step in his time away. The album, despite having a really bad EDM-ish like name to it, is far better then it's name and cover would seem to indicate. Taking South Asian influences and adding a bit of dance floor swagger to them Adham Shaikh has created a record that's a sub-woofer throbbing behemoth of global chill out cool. Basswalla while containing new material also contains several updated versions of songs Shaikh's released over the last thirteen years. Not really a greatest hits record with some new stuff thrown on top, Shaikh actually re-interpreted his older material with a bit of improvisational spice so that everything here sounds new and fresh.

Basswalla resides somewhere between a chill out record straight out of India and a trunk rattling bass exploration that just happens to have a Southern Asian vibe. It's a nice mix between the two and Shaikh has been around the block long enough to know how to craft songs that are not only rich in atmospherics but also have the ability to find a groove. As he says himself the record, “sits squared at the intersection of prayer and dance floor.” It's a serene calming experience that just happens to make you want to dance. His layered atmospherics and mixing of traditional instrumentation with wave after wave of bass creates this experience that's hard to forget. Of the ten songs that make up Basswalla only one falls flat on it's face (“Cultivation”) and it's simply because the rap shouldn't be there. As for the rest of the record it's the sound of modern India via the global bass community and it's just about perfect either as an atmospheric experience or a night on the tiles.  

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