Kimyan Law - Zawadi [2x12" LP]
Extraordinary production talent returns with a deeply textured second outing via Blu Mar Ten Music.
Having made serious waves with the release of his debut album ‘Coeur Calme’ in 2014, 21 year-old Congolese exile Kimyan Law sets the bar even higher this time around, returning to forward-thinking label Blu Mar Ten Music with the release of ‘Zawadi’, eleven tracks of emotive electronic music that push the drum and bass template into previously unexplored areas.
Swahili for ‘gift’, ‘Zawadi’ is a fitting title for an album that comes across as a deeply personal exploration of both melancholic and quietly energising emotions, gifted to the listener via Kimyan Law’s deadly precise sense of rhythmic technicality and human feeling. Tracks like opener ‘Sakania’ toy with orchestral atmospherics and warm soulful brass, while tripping junglistic snares collide beneath the surface of slowly rumbling bass pads throughout.
An accomplished drummer in his own right, Kimyan Law’s intricate rhythmic sensibility is the lifeblood that runs throughout the album; gentle and restrained on the subtle ballad ‘Magic’ (featuring the unique voice of Clara Luzia), experimental and composed on ‘Luba’, complex yet driving on the modern jungle flex of ‘Yore Dub’. A balanced and intricate producer, Kimyan Law’s use of African percussion, finely honed polyrhythmic patterns and celestial sprinklings of keys melded with slabs of sub-bass power and sheer energy makes for an intoxicating listen.
Exploring themes of melancholy, loss and hope, ‘Zawadi’ is a truly cinematic experience that sits amongst the finest drum and bass long players from the likes of Photek, Source Direct or even 4Hero. A constant mix of light and dark, futuristic yet primitive atmosphere hangs over the album, with waves of luscious synths and deeply musical string arrangements abounding. Tracks like ‘Komorebi’ are up there with some of the finest recent developments in drum and bass, whilst the pitched-down vocals and dub-wise echo chamber effects of ‘September’ featuring May and Berlin’s own Robot Koch display a strong evolution in song writing skill.
An exile from his homeland due to the Congolese Civil War, Kimyan Law sits as a lone figure in the current electronic music scene. A victim of racism as a child and frequently the only black youth in his social circle when growing up, music was a soothing release from the displacement of home and the harsh social realities of his adopted Vienna. If ‘Zawadi’ is a gift from Kimyan Law, then we as listeners are grateful receivers.
a2. Magic (feat. Clara Luzia)
a3. Yore Dub
b1. Mondegreen (feat. Phentix)
c1. Citadelle (feat. Motsa)
c3. September (feat. Robot Koch & May)
d2. White Moth Anthem