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MYTHIC TALES OF TOMORROW II

As Pakistan’s largest and most populous city, and the centre of a flourishing underground music scene, Karachi is fertile ground for creative expression.

One artist to emerge out of this scene is producer Nawksh. His debut LP, Mythic Tales of Tomorrow II, is a kaleidoscope of fluid and short-lived tracks, most well under two minutes, aside from the album’s twelve-minute closer, ‘Exile & Mirror’, which is itself a collection of transient, hazy loops. In this sense, the album might owe its patchwork quality to its birthplace. It's bustling, dense and unpredictable, but like Pakistan’s City of Lights, it’s also peppered with moments of shimmering beauty.

Despite this, the most obvious reference points come from outside of Karachi. Nawksh is clearly tapping into the sounds of Los Angeles’ psych-tinged beat scene, spearheaded by Flying Lotus’ label, Brainfeeder. Leftfield hip-hop beat ‘Scoop Out The Brain’ chops up acoustic guitar alongside sighing vocals, while on ‘Come On In Smile Snatcher’, dissonant and disoriented synths are scattered among frenetic percussion.

A bulk of the album is made up of slightly more structured, though still fairly abstract, tunes like ‘First Friend’, ‘Down The Rodent Hole’, ‘Where Would You Be’ and ‘WAG’. These moments showcase a more lo-fi, shoegazing edge, with pulsing drums and reverb-drenched vocals taking the place of glitches and drones.

If you’ve never thought about the cultural undercurrents of Karachi, let this album be your entry point. But it might take a while to regain your bearings.

by Now Then Sheffield