Toward the end of last month Kratos Himself dropped his new EP A Town Called Imaginarium. Days later I stumble upon it on another enlightening bandcamp weekly and before I know it, it’s found a permanent place on my computers hard drive.
Satisfying my eardrums immensely for the last week, the Dutch downtempo wizard has released a fine slice of electronic music which encompasses a slight world music vibe, warm bass, chilled beats and some organic and delicate production. It’s by the numbers, but when the numbers sound this good there’s nothing to complain about. Kratos Himself, or Jethro Hopmans as he is otherwise known, has caught my attention and has me positively salivating for a full length of this calibre.
You can pick up A Town Called Imaginarium for ‘buy now or name your price’ over at bandcamp.
1. Imaginarium (03:57)
2. Remember (04:54)
3. Ayahuasca (04:38)
4. Lucid (05:31)
5. This Town (04:08)
6. Don’t Call Me (06:02)
7. Till We Meet Again (05:16)
While American blues and North African music, in particular the ‘Desert blues’ that has come out of Mali – probably best represented by the late legend Ali Farka Touré, are no stranger to each other it still sounds incredibly fresh to hear two continents influences collide with such graceful results. What Dirtwire, the duo David Satori (Beats Antique) and Evan Fraser (Hamsa Lila), have accomplished on their debut full length is not only beautifully composed but incredibly well executed with wide instrumentation and carefully considered orchestration. It’s not simply a mash up of music from across the world but a subtle and most importantly genuine sounding blend.
Western beats sit side by side with African live instrumentation, Banjo, harmonica, piano and even hints of dub basslines all come together but where Dirtwire excel here is not seeming to lean toward any one influence. What can begin as a very rough, Americana sound can soon be filled with North African vibes and flow effortlessly together. We’ve seen it before with other musicians but Dirtwire make it relevant to fans of western beat music and with an entirely instrumental take, if I didn’t know better I’d never have guessed their country of origin; which it turns out the pair met at the California Institute of the Arts where they studied World Music and Composition together. Skilled individuals no doubt but together they’ve really come up with something wonderful, lets hope to hear more from them in the future. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this album to someone who wanted an introduction to Desert Blues or North African blues generally.
DIRTWIRE is available to buy on bandcamp. It’s name your price so if you enjoy it, think about supporting the guys.