Another month in the overcrowded world of music and another 30 days of searching the depths of the scene for the most enchanting world fusion electronic music out there. So far, we have uncovered music by the usual suspect labels such as Shanti Planti and Street Ritual and then some. Swirl your hips around these baklavish sounds.
Wu Wei – Lifetimes Between (Muti Music)
One of the most magnificent ethnofusion tunes of this month comes from Wu Wei; his new EP dropping on the 3rd of November. Coming from Muti Music, it should come as no surprise how good this is. The dynamicism of using all the different sounds in this production is absolute master-class, evoking a sound that would appease an ancient warrior who’s new to the ways of the 21st century. It’s difficult to pick a favorite from this EP as it glues together as a wholesome experience but the TheUntz premiered ‘Eternally Unfolding’ most probably takes pole position with its scorching hot vibrations and ‘Wake’ perfectly tip-toes the fine line between royal dream-state ambiance and the bliss of a foggy lakeside dawn wake-up stretch n’ yawn.
Ecometric – TransPlants (Shanti Planti)
So here’s what’s happened with this EP; the already super-psychedelic sound of Shanti Planti artists have been put on a surgical table, and re-envisioned by Ecometric. Verging on full on psydub/midtempo, some of the tracks in this EP have beautiful ethnic flavor and squelch-whomp spiritualectronic to them; standouts include the re-transmission of Halfred’s Alien Vibratory Fields and the retweek of Somatoast’s Bear Brains.
AtYyA – ∆ Remixes Vol I ∆
This freshly baked and organic blending of a collection of AtYyA tracks has so many OGs in the line-up that makes you think organizing the track list would have taken as long as the productions themselves. Some of the tracks fall into the psydub category and not so much ethnofusion, but the few that do tick more boxes than the number needed when moving out of a dwelling. Highlights include Duffrey and Soulular’s respective remixes of Adhiṭṭhāna and Movement.
RHD – Al-Shama
We unearthed this one by the unknown producer going by the name RHD, but delivering straight up ethnoeight Arabic trap bangeramas. Everything about this screams great execution, mixing everything from the organic soulfully dark instruments with a healthy dose of big room-ish trappery. We aren’t sure who this person is but he is definitely on our radar now.
Birds of Paradise – Wingspan [Kaya Project Remix] (Additech Records)
From the Re-routed Birds of Paradise album, Flight Patterns featuring the likes of Eat Static, Hypnagog and Landswitcher, this redo by Kaya Project is an obvious ethnofusion standout with mid-tempo psychill-esque beauty of tablas, violins, twiddling vocals and guitars; the soundtrack to your pixie jungle safari.
Apriori – Fracture [Sacred Coast EP] (Luminosity Project)
This EP by newcomer Apriori taking a mixed form of deep psydub and 808 goodness includes the track, Fracture which drives and thumps in the most glorious ethnic fusion format of the 140 deep dubbery, switching up at times into a minimal jungle-inspired jewel of auditory hypnobliss.
Cualli – My I feat. Sophia Boadecker (The Untz Premiere)
A glitchy midtempo Scintilla / Tipper influenced offering from Cualli’s new release ‘Birds of Bliss’ through Merkaba Music; while rocking the usual elements of mid-temple goodness, the standout vocals by Sophia Boedecker dance with perfect folk guitars, string sections and virtuoso harmonies, weighing down the melodic tray of the balance scale.
Drumsypder – Sound Sigils EP
The standard good ethnofusion music formula doesn’t get executed much better than how Drumspyder does it. The Sound Sigil EP is mid-tempo ethnic dub executed to pyramidal sharpness, served with a side of Mediterranean sun-soaked gypsy flavor, fresh-boiled wobbles and groove-tastically handled percussion that brings the overall sound very close to ethnic drum n’ bass (especially in Spyder Step). One great thing about this EP is that it oozes of organic qualities with most instruments sounding like they have been played live and not just comprised of regurgitated sample packs. Other standout moments on the EP include the soaring flute work on Olena, and thumping basslines and plucks of Salamander, but really, what makes this EP endearing is its holistic consistency of brilliance.
Shanti Planti – Rhythm Code II
I didn’t even have to listen to this to include it. I could have just written the wildest thoughts in my mind and put the album link and it would still hold. The supertitan label of ethno/psy mid-tempo music came out with a new compilation album this month that knocks the soul right outside the body for an experience. Although pretty much every tune on this album is next level, some of them carry the ethnic element like a holster for weapons of love construction; Land Switcher’s Root Fraction takes lazers, skanks and soundscapes of reggae dub and beautifully mixes them with aquatic squelch, wandering hindi vocals and acoustic guitar melodies; Quanta’s Inbetween rides an highly complex yet rhythmic beat with a plethora of sounds and beautiful ethnic soundscapes kindly invading the headspace for higher consciousness, coupled with excerpts by who I believe to be Jason Silva; and finally Ecometric’s ‘Velvet Wormhole’ with a barrage of organic and digital falling arpeggios, haunting ambiance, and a Bwoy de Bhajan-esque post-enlightenment feel of brain speck-cleansing sonic rituals.
GUNDAM – Enlightment (Dred Collective)
This offering from Italdread’s Dred Collective takes me back straight to crowded bus rides in the hills of Nepal. It’s got a beautiful flavor of the old days, tweaked to suite the beat-head swank-friendly 2015 kiddos such as myself. A few listens of this one reveals how much a refreshing ethnofusion tune it is, with its positive upbeat vibe and not falling into the usual wailing of minor-scale near Eastern aesthetics.
Skrude – OG Chevy Chase (Caps Lock Crew)
One of the favorites for this month, this one from the Caps Lock Crew badman, puts the rude back into Skrude; filthy, gritty, trap galore, tribal with lots of organic percussive work and an ethnic pluck lead to put that skank-face on a jaw-lockdown.
Circle of Alchemists – Tokyo Flair
A hip-hop instrumental from this group with Koto-style flavor, packed with Bonobo and CloZee-like positive vibe and mid-tempo aesthetic.
Mettakin – Belogradchik
Our very own homie Mettakin came out with this world-dub offering, with its territorial claim on Balkan / Klezmer grooves. It comes with Mettakin’s usual deep and eerie dubtastic sound, with an incredible switch-up in the final section.
Rhythmstar – Drakones Indikoi feat. Rama
For anyone familiar with ethnic fusion music, Rhythmstar can be found to specialize in this style since the first Ethnostep compilation by Subbass back in 2012. He is now back with a new EP on Street Ritual and this one’s a standout mid to uptempo sitar-filled groovy electronica. This one’s more of a traditional kind of electronica and while it doesn’t do anything too crazy, it ticks all the right boxes of meditative purposes.
Truth – Land of Stone
Truth makes our cut again this month with another old school banger, completed with tribal percussive elements, chants and middle eastern plucks. Not the most innovative of this month’s picks so far, but certainly a safe bet for any 140head’s Mesopotamian jives.
Sal Sagev – الكسكس حزينة
An offering through the vaporwave outlet, 404 Jackpot collective, this tune from Sal Sagev oozes out like a genie that has been trapped [pun intended] in a bottle for centuries, creating a hauntingly dark ambient soundscape.
SEPĀRVTIZM – Dara
From the deepest helms of DARKTRVP music, this cultish firey ethnic belter is reminiscent of the sound of Abraxas records and Dark Trap Inc. Choppy, witched-up, bassy, big bad mummified grills, if you will.
Stratosphere – Crystalline Cycles (Ascentient Remix)
A playful piece of work by Ascentient, driven by a combination of squelches, wubs, wandering arps and digital midi mantras. Another one for the mid-tempo glitchsters.
Tikki Masala – Maha Shakti
The ethnic fusion OG and man behind Masala Records strikes again this month with his familiar old-school slowly-evolving electronica sound, weighing in at 8 minutes; a taste of his new Tikki Masala album to come soon.