“Warn-U (Nguzunguzu Megamix” [excerpt]
TRI ANGLE (TRIANGLE08, 12” + CD + digital)
There are records for which taxonomy is futile. They do not accept labels, no genre specifications, they slip through your fingers like water. What does “Warn-U” identify itself with? You'd have to break away from conventional language and try new descriptions, because using terms like “dream-pop” or “witch house” wouldn't only be incorrect, it would do it no justice at all. Ayshay's sound is basically vocal: she layers her voice and superimposes them on short constructions that seem like the water wells in a spa, hot on one side (sharp, heavenly takes, expanded towards infinite space), cold on the other (the heavy sounds, like the Tibetan chants generated by gut and diaphragm, in a mix that causes perplexity). Maybe it's not that hard to identify Ayshay's music: there is an almost religious and primary strain to world music (her real name is Fatima A Qadiri, she was born in Senegal, grew up in Kuwait, live in New York and her stage name means “anything” in Arab), and we're really dealing with a new way to express the mystic union with a higher being here.
All that is condensed on “Warn-U”, “Jemsheed” and “Shaytan”; almost ten minutes of vocal waves which, in the present context, maintain a close relationship with the ethereal pop of Grouper, Sleep ? Over and Julia Holter - but which in a bigger context only respond to Allah and his prophet Mohammed. Fatima hardly uses electronica, only fine threads that allow her to treat and stretch her voice and some subtle atmospheric touches so that the tracks sound fuller. The beats, the only beats, are in the final megamix by Nguzunguzu, twelve minutes of abrupt rhythms, nervous, like slow-motion drum'n'bass (which accelerate until they reach Goldie speed), over which the LA twosome place new modifications on Ayshay's voice. It must be the most radically modern interpretation of concepts firmly rooted in Islamic mysticism - like trance, spiritual rapture and ecstasy - around. Serious stuff.