International Feel continues to bring us the island jams. Your particular physical or metaphorical island is entirely your choice of course. But regardless of the location you place them, these musical capsules manage to contain entire ecosystems within their digital boundaries. We have the Balearic jams of label boss Mark Barrott, so utterly drenched in a sense of place. And today we have Pharoahs with a record partly inspired by a Hawaiian surf memoir but reaching into so many touchstones of 80s world music it’s dizzying.
We begin with looping synth rhythms which are quickly supplements with what sounds like wood blocks. Which could be the kicking off point for some deep house or an extended abstract jam. Instead we kinda get both. The Knife pulled a similar trick all over Silent Shout but their destination was darker and more towards the banging side of house. Here we’re more afrobeat and chill.
And that’s because we gravitate away from the synths and towards West African vibes. Beautiful guitar loops over some call and response vocals that float atop strung out bass. It’s a release from a more synthetic beginning that wasn’t exactly Industrial-goth to begin with. Yet one of the song’s achievements is that this all still sounds so blissful in comparison.