Kachina, since releasing their debut EP on Affectionate Grooves in late 2015, have made their sixth release in less than a year with their Hypnotize EP.
Out Thursday, September 15, it could arguably cement Kachina’s music and the major support its had on radio, in clubs and in the press with the likes of Toddla T, Charlie Tee, Monki and many more. They even recently recorded a VIP mix for the latter’s BBC Radio 1 show.
Starting things off is “A Girl Like Me (Original Mix)”, featuring Nikki Marie, which has ringing feedback which’s actually quite soothing, even with the deep claps of drum. Like deep in the ear to rouse you from your reverie. The vocals are a tad sassy, quite soulful. Then that relentless drum kicks in, then doubling on itself. Moody, maybe a tad tragic. Things pause before the clap of that relentless drum resumes. That ringing feedback, soothing, fades out the track.
“A Girl Like Me (Sunday Mix)”, also featuring Nikki Marie, has a completely different vibe to the original one. Yes, the drum work is as relentless, but the rest of the backdrop is, say, more urban. You can picture London’s finest rap and grime emcees, perhaps, lacing flows over this one. Moody but not quite ecstasy, pill popping intense. More low, scuzzy bass than trebling highs. Dynamics see this rolled back to light drum, slowing to the fadeout.
The arguably candid “Thinking About You”, featuring Omni (Random Trio) and Afua, is evocative of a rave, but with soulful sensibilities. Soul music of the kind which the drum machine is the main rhythm maker. Low, moody bass rears its head in this one, really deep. Light keyboard melody then dances over the top of the track, a playful dalliance from the moody intensity, oh so serious. The closing minute or so accentuates the bass drum, pounding deep before another fadeout.
“Hypnotize”, featuring Afua, has opening moments lending a certain graveness to the proceedings. Bass drum then hammers in, doubly so in a matter of seconds. It’s quite a soulful one, the harmonies simple, yet expertly done. There appears to be a recurring pan flute esque sound throughout, foreign from faraway lands, yet industrial in its sound. The soulful harmonies see out the end of the track before fadeout.
Finishing things off is “Way Back Home (Kachina VIP)”, featuring Roqqert. This starts bleak, a vocal sample chopped as if the woman was in never ending pain. The clicking percussion also sounds of an industrial manner. A soulful voice, maybe the woman in pain, sounds tearful and desperate, but still with the wherewithal to carry beautiful melody.
There’s sloshing of water, as if the tide’s coming in. Is this sea of change, a happy ending for a world beset by the industrial computer revolved society? The drums are quite scatty, and the industrial effect as such to sound like a drum machine incarnation of Keith Moon of The Who fame. One last flourish, like the crashing of a cymbal, tolls the bell of the track’s end. Debateable, of course, being whose end this signifies. Man or machine?
Overall, a strong effort. For starts, both versions of “A Girl Like Me” are different enough to merit putting both on the EP. They’re both not there for the sake of filling up the piece, and making it seem bigger than it actually is.
“A Girl Like Me (Original Mix)”, on one hand, at times sounds like a New Age tape to rouse one from deep meditation, and action packed like a voyage through space. “A Girl Like Me (Sunday Mix)”, being more hip-hop than dance and house music orientated, on the other hand, is moody but still remains pretty much both feet planted firmly. Indeed more grounded and earthly than the former’s seeming interplanetary travel. A good combination complementing eachother.
Particular highlight, though, is “Way Back Home (Kachina VIP)”. Whilst the other two fairly get the imagination wandering, this, you could say, gets it running in overdrive. The chopped vocal sample a woman in pain. Her tears streaming down her face as she sings her melody. Perhaps a warning or directions for what to do. The tide coming in maybe even signifying getting in over our heads? Who wins in man versus machine?
Kachina, with this EP, have arguably personified why they’re getting a lot of attention this year. Its composition and genre spanning daresay gives the music an addictive flavour. Kachina’s Hypnotize EP can be heard on iTunes here.
Words by Andrew Watson