Kami-O – Silva [HNYBSS Premiere]

After the deserved success of his debut self-released album in 2021, Kami-O expands his bass driven horizons with a second full length effort, ‘Veiled‘. Where ‘Biren‘ captured the nature of Kami-O‘s roots, ‘Veiled‘ captures the nature of his soul at a specific moment in time. Recorded during lockdown through a period of anxiety and isolation, the talented Glaswegian lays out ten characteristically deep meditative tracks with moments of etherealism and foreboding tension, sparked by the record’s sublime opener and today’s premiere, ‘Silva‘.

Like heavy footed mountaineers on frozen ice of the foothills, the ground shaking stomps of ‘Silva’ clatter the subs and break through the tension of the album’s first ominous soundscape. From the pounding sub stomps to the eventual chest rattling pulsations, it’s a menacing mutating opener that at 130bpm, foreshadows the inherent diversity of ‘Veiled‘. The record’s first vocal track ‘Only One‘ features a passionate Rider Shafique, gracing our presence once again with his unmistakeable vocals and relevant lyricism. Unsurprisingly, it’s a lyrical conception made for Kami-O‘s potent mixture of brooding bass weight and natural percussion work echoing below. Trapped in lockdown and longing for normality, ‘Back Way‘ sees Kami-O piece together a celebration of nostalgia with wistful basslines that throw you into a mid-noughties club, moved by classic breaks and spine tingling vocal cuts. And unlike some of Kami-O‘s darker dubstep focused tracks on the record, the genre blurring track clearly has a wider appeal after enjoying a feature on BBC Radio Scotland!

From the fleeting memories of the club to the following ‘Epithet‘, Kami-O guides us back up to his familiar high altitude, low frequency terrain. Like much of the record, the production value is superb, with every nuance and cultural instrumentation cutting through the heavy cloud of sub bass. We’re then greeted by two differing vocalists for two differing vocal tracks. First, the smooth harmonies of AMOS provide tender moments on ‘Got Myself‘, an otherwise turbulent production from Kami-O, before walking the fine line between dubstep and grime on ‘R n C‘, helped by the penetrating bars of Jae Mann. With the pressure of the summit getting ever closer, the record’s most bruising piece ‘Float‘, takes out your rib cage in the most atmospheric setting. The relentlessly pulsating subs are one thing, but it’s Kami-O‘s ability to break the tension with elegant sampling that reminds us of the beauty that can be found in the darkness. ‘Lock‘ offers similar esoteric flavours with sitar licks, shimmering chimes and colourful chord stabs, and the similarly dizzying low end work of ‘Subtle‘ leaves us to grab our oxygen masks for one final brain busting jaunt before the summit that is ‘Veiled‘. It’s a smooth and understated finale piece that, without being too climatic, feels like the perfect album closer for what is now a quintessential Kami-O soundscape.

Whether this collection was born from the depths of anxiety or an unstoppable creative fever, dubstep’s very own sonic sherpa Kami-O, has guided us back up a mountain of chilling soundscapes with beautiful highs and powerful lows. A stunning self-released sophomore project that takes you on a high altitude journey without having to leave your seat.

Veiled‘ is out 11/11/2022 and available to pre-order digitally and on cassette here.

Check out Kami-O on Soundcloud and Instagram.