Those of us who have been following the music scene for a while are aware of how genres come and go in waves. The latest wave to hit the scene is ambient electronic music. Given the flexibility that the genre lends to experimentation with instruments and sounds, quite a few artists have been finding new dimensions in their sound lately. Experimental label, Qilla Records, who constantly release music that plays with the boundaries of how genres are defined, have also ventured into the zone of ambient music with Forte Vol. 7 – the seventh in their series of compilations under the name ‘Forte’. Spring is Coming!
Qilla is known for promoting artists with an edge, and this compilation is no different. Overall it sounds like the perfect release right before spring sets in, each song steeped in the sounds of possibility that spring brings with it. It starts with Pakistani producer Asfandyar Khan’s, In Dust, a reverb-heavy soundscape that sets the tone for the rest of the compilation. The melodic strings create an atmosphere that transports one into environs similar to that of the hills. He plays with the highs and lows of the songs to shake the listener out of the slumber that the track sometimes puts you in.
Following this is Kolkata based Varun Desai under the moniker Yidam with Solar Winds. His precision with synths is clear in the effortless transitions through the rhythm as it builds during the first 3 minutes before slowly fading out in the last. Without ever getting too heavy on the distortion, Yidam is able to convey an atmosphere of mystery.
The pace picks up with Hybrid Protokol’s Nada, the Kolkata-based electronic duo. Without straying too far from the tone set by the previous ambient tracks, this one introduces a rhythmic drum beat and gets you moving. The soundscapes are still significantly similar to those of the previous tracks yet the beat changes the mood to a more trippy one.
To round off the compilation, Delhi based artist’s ELM’s Kazuya infuses drum breaks and bass-heavy sounds with pads to get you on the floor and move it, at least in your head. Overall, in line with their usual approach, Qilla once again looks at the experimental side of the ambient wave and has come out with a compilation that keeps the genre fresh, at least for now!