19 September 2009


Kush Arora – Boiling Over EP

1 : Boiling Over
2 : Alabaster Dub ( Remix of Sub Swara)
3 : The Staircase w/ Lucas Patzek
4 : Dealbreaker w/ J. Rogers & Jo Rozinski
5 : Constructing the Absence w/ Sub Swara
6 : We're Upstairs w/ Maneesh the Twister & The Spit Brothers
7 : SF Shuffle Riddim

Purchase this release here: Record Label Records, Audiojelly, Juno

RecordLabelRecords released two weeks ago a fantastic instrumental heavy bass tribal-step EP, Boiling Over, a collection of 7 tracks by Kush Arora, including collaborations with a few other artists, of which I know only Sub Swara, but will have to memorize the rest of the names definitely. I must say that the world presented here by Kush Arora is very rich, deep and moving. I love his oriental touch spicing up the dark lands of heavy bass.

Kush Arora is the trained drummer and one can definitely hear it in the way he programs drums, pads and snares. The tracks have a lively flow to them, and when they are dipped in a beautiful Eastern sauce like in Boiling Over with wide array of instrumentation including flutes, pianos and trumpets sped up to 150 bmp, one can really talk about unique quality. Remix of Subswara’s Alabaster Dub is a low frequency sub-bass journey heavily relying on pounding beat, broken drums and flute-based melody patterns. The Staircase is fantastic ambient track originally done for a film with long-time collaborator and Arora’s band member – Lucas Patzek. Middle Eastern vibes of different types of shade and modern IDM beat laid on drum and bass foundations ‘talk’ in synch here playing a kind of mysterious game with the listener all along the way. Great listening experience! I will have to check J.Rogers & Jo Rozinski as their collaboration with Kush Arora in Dealbreaker is a super solid whompy ass-kicking dubstep offering on this dynamic and eclectic ‘oriental’ release.

Constructing the absence on the other hand is a fantastic oriental dub full of infectious synths and beautiful instruments playing in the background (flute being most prominent of them again), flowing through space with a grace of a kite, yet so powerful that able to break through the toughest walls. We’re upstairs is a roots-based techno stepper, whereas SF Shuffle Riddim, is a great instrumental cut from Kush Arora’s previous, highly acclaimed release, Dread Bass Chronicles, on which he worked with Juakali from Sub Swara, a Los Angeles resident, and native of Trinidad and Tobago, one of the best vocalists in Jungle / Dubstep scene and a real “pusher” of heavy bass music in the US. Again modern beat and drums are infused with centuries old Middle and Far Eastern melodies in a kind of trademark Kush Arora sound.

‘Cultural dubstep’, the name coined to describe the type of music produced by Kush Arora, describes quite well the eclectic mix of various world traditions one can enjoy in his works. I really recommend this artists to all the listeners looking for different vibes in a too well-known heavy bass genre.

Kush was kind enough to allow me to post one track from his EP as a teaser to the readers of my blog

Kush Arora - Constructing the Absence w/ Sub Swara

Kush Arora’s short bio: “Kush Arora is active in SF, he is a member of the Surya Dub Crew which has been at the center for dread bass, dubstep, and electronica winning best club night in SF two years in a row. Opening for the likes of BassNectar, Thievery Corporation, The Bug, and Flying Lotus all in the past 9 months has kept him busy on the road. Busy as a remixer, he’s remixed Balkan Beat Box, Zion I, and many more. His work has caught attention of Pitchfork mag, calling him a “laptop musician extraodinaire who’s pioneering,” BBC 1’s Mary Anne Hobbes dubbing his Brooklyn To SF cd “a beautiful piece of work”,and great support from XLR8R, LA Weekly, SFGuardian, The CMJ, and Mix agazine. The recent release “The Dread Bass Chronicles” featured the finest mc’s of electronic dancehall: Warrior Queen (Bug/Ninjatune), Juakali (Dub War/SubSwara), MC Zulu (Ninjatune/Project Blowed), and Bongo Chilli (R8 Records), showcasing the sounds you will find at his bashment and dub sessions that have been tearing up clubs around the world.”

Check an exhaustive interview with Kush Arora discussing Boiling Over, his approach to music and plans for the future.