Glasgow based Kami-O is one of a few new producers I’ve really been excited about over the last few months! With a wicked EP on FatKidOnFire last year and the stunning self-released ‘Hara’ EP thereafter, Kami-O officially landed on the radars of many in 2020. His latest release not only sees him put together another beautiful self-released project, but a full eight track album with a thoroughly thought-out and personal concept. In tribute to his late grandfather Birendra Nath Bose, ‘Biren‘ enables Kami-O to explore his Indian heritage, taking inspiration from various forms of traditional Indian music and combining them with his usual 140bpm style. And beginning this personal sub-continental journey is the immense ‘Jayanta‘, today’s premiere.
‘Jayanta‘ eases into the deep, spiritual excursion that is ‘Biren‘, allowing an ensemble of mesmeric vocal trails and tribal percs to break through Kami-O‘s first dose of ocean deep sub-bass. It’s the kind of landscape shaking weight that continues to resonate once we’ve passed the minimal midnight soundscapes of ‘Bose‘. Kami-O quickly plunges back into the vigorously pulsating bass-designs of ‘Aavaas‘, adorned by modulated sarod strings, like the rising sun throwing it’s light over towering Himalayan mountains. It’s the following ‘Yoddha‘ however that, for me, beholds Kami-O‘s masterpiece. A scintillating medley of rolling tribal drums, mountainous weight and stunning string sections, the cultural influences and bass music fundamentals marry perfectly here. Even the drama filled horns introduce some welcome grime flavours! If you’re not gripped by that nor the adventure through the deep underbelly of ‘Kayastha‘, then I suggest you either upgrade your headphones, your subs or simply hop off the proverbial tuk tuk because these awe-inspiring soundscapes don’t get much better than this! Like any good album, Kami-O keeps things fresh and diverse with ‘Jashore‘. From the trap-flavoured percs to the cheeky wubs, compared to the other cuts, it’s an unequivocal nod towards the more foundational sounds of dubstep.
It’s upon the penultimate ‘Crossing’ when you really understand where Kami-O feels at home; engrossed in intense, bass-driven rollers with it’s sole purpose to move and to hypnotise. Similarly, the album’s title track ‘Biren‘ also revels in it’s unyielding rhythm. A finale where Kami-O lays it all on the line, every last sub-zero frequency packed into a final climatic four minutes. Distinctly cinematic with enough mesmerising depth to induce an out-of-body experience and like the album itself, completely unforgettable.
As a relatively new producer with only a couple of records to his name, I don’t think I’m out of order to suggest that Kami-O has really out done himself with ‘Biren‘. A beautifully curated project that has it all; a powerful tribute, coherent thematics and dramatic soundscapes. An album of such quality and depth that many labels should be kicking themselves to have missed out on and dare I say, an album that even deserves a full pressing, especially when paired with such wonderful artwork by Kami-O‘s own mother, Helen Bose. But maybe, sometimes, keeping such a personal project close to home is the most profound route to take.
‘Biren’ is out 23/04/2021 and available to download from Kami-O’s Bandcamp.