Ayshay: Warn-U (CD single,Tri Angle, September 2011)

This record resists categorization rather brilliantly. The title track is mostly (as far as I can tell) mainly composed of three heavily processed loops of human voices, along with some gentle laptop effects (the only beat is a barely present pad). Two are wordless drones or chants, one a rumbling bass and the other a floating soprano. In between is something which appears to be the main vocal: there are words, and they sound kinda like English, but I couldn’t say for sure. I find the effect rather hypnotic and pleasingly disorientating. Tracks 2 and 3 continue in the same vein, indeed seemingly using some of the same components — there’s a risk of this becoming repetitive, but the tracks are short, and since she is inventing her own musical language it makes sense to hear the same phrases re-occurring. (Biographical note: This is the work of Arabic-American Fatima Al Qadiri, and the vocals are all apparently her own, pitch-shifted and autotuned all round the park. ‘Ayshay’ is Arabic for ‘whatever’.)

The fourth track is a ‘megamix’ which brings in the same layered vocals over a skittering semi-acoustic breakbeat (which I am tempted to describe as a kind of north African amen). There’s a definite raviness to it — by the end, she’s getting busy with the pitch bender on the snares, jungle-style — but it never quite takes light for me and, at 12 minutes, somewhat outstays its welcome.

I bought this from Boomkat. They call it Electronic (which is, frankly, a cop-out… but an understandable one).

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