Kalaji – Kalaji

 

Hailing from Martuwarra (Fitzroy River region of Northwest W.A),  the Debut LP from Kalaji, aka Nyikina man Mark Coles Smith, is a rich electronic exploration of country, culture and consciousness in the age of technology.

Perfectly paced, there is a constant sense of dream-like expansiveness throughout as it drifts effortlessly between ambient sequences and into the more dance-focused songs. Lead single Yoolbooroo as well as tracks such as Jirrir and Walka have a contemporary club/rnb sound.

You are left with the feeling that you have watched something as much as heard it. The meticulous and detailed sound design is immediately evident, as is the delivery of emotive storytelling, and the constant deep and intimate narrative. As it winds it’s way to a powerful synth-driven conclusion on Janarra, the haunting repeated lyric “I’m almost home”. There is something esoteric and film-like here that rewards multiple listens.

The cinematic and synthesised production techniques, combined with sampled field recordings and sweet vocal performances (from Kalaji himself, as well as guest appearances from Matalja and Wayne Barker) make this a standout first album.

Highly recommended out now via Heavy Machinery Records.

 

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