I recently read a magnificent book by sociologist Jenifer Lena, Banding Together: How Communities Create Genres in Popular Music. She evaluates the factors that influence the spread of musical taste – why some genres, bands, individuals gain popularity. Her research is impressive as it covers a wide range of her exploration with “rap to bluegrass to death metal and South Texas polka.

This is where we can introduce Naar to the readers, a mysterious, experimental producer from Mumbai, India. He has made impressively uncategorizable music with a variety of voices filling the space in a haunting-yet-reverent way; some of the tracks from the EP are like wordless hymns sung by ghosts. Naar’s surrounding ambience brings some names to the table with the likes of Charlemagne Palestine and Janek Schaefer on Day of the Demons.

Naar’s debut release begins with ‘Babylon Loan‘, UFO sounds take the front stage with old-school ghosts haunting the record, it is relatively similar to the following ‘Cruel Joke‘ where at the core of the music, there’s a battle between brushed hi-hats along with synth lines, on the other hand, and luminous tonal elements on the other. Small gestures count for a lot in experimental releases like this one, so that a single pair of bass notes, played several measures apart, come to seem like a major theme. My favourite part of the release is the track named ‘Kaliyuga‘, with a soothing melody and filament-like phrases flaring up in the murk.

 

Second part of the EP begins with more upbeat tracks, ‘Kali Yantra’ is one that draws lines very closely to the old-school dubstep sounds. Trembling movements are lively and explosive drop comes in straight after the short build up. ‘Temple Hymn of a Ghoul‘ sounds relatively similar to ‘Babylon’s Loan‘ which in a sense can make you feel that the artist was rather lackadaisical, the track is generally pleasing but boilerplate, and mixed without flair. At last there’s ‘Underdogs‘, Naar dips in and out of floaty synth passage and ends the track with percussion and fading bass.

 

The release is a positive starting point for the new producer as he strings together those tracks for his first release on the Cymbalize label. Even if it isn’t the most exciting, it has decent amount of high points that make you forget about the downsides and make it all worthwhile.

 

 

Track list:
Babylon’s Loan
Cruel Joke
Kaliyuga
Kali Yantra
Temple Hymn of a Ghoul
Underdogs

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