Kenyan-born Berlin-based artist and producer KMRU has partnered with the Nairobi Ableton User Group to create a new compilation album titled INSHA. The 14-track body of work collates music from a range of talented Kenyan artists, who took part in a workshop organized by KMRU in collaboration with Mbogua Mbugua Mbugua, who goes by the name M³.
The project boasts features music from Kenyan artists, including Manch!ld, Nyokabi Kariuki, Kimina, Ngat Maler, Rushab Nandha, Snse, KMRU and M³. The compilation explores the role of music in Kenyan culture and storytelling, particularly in ceremonies, and seeks to bridge the gap between past and future music creators with aim of showcasing the rich and diverse musical traditions of the country, highlighting the talents of Kenyan artists and offering a fresh perspective on the cultural heritage of Kenya.
The project opens up with Kimina's "Aliamka", an ethereal piece that is made up of a plethora of layered sounds that slowly build into a crescendo. The sound design is pretty epic and listeners are drawn into the shapeshifting arrangement as it progresses. This is followed by KMRU's "I had the impression", an offbeat groove-driven track made up of moody and dark electronic blips, ethereal sign waves and rich percussions.
Nabalayo's "mtwapa siren", is a sublime and atmospheric future-soul offering ripe with traditional elements fused with electronic aesthetics and mind-tripping sound design. There is so much to unwrap but some other stand-out cuts include Snse's "Ng'eetich" and MR.LU's "Kaa Tukachome". The former is a slick, afro-fusion tune made up of rich atmospheric vocal pads, lush guitar riffs and groovy drums while the latter's crunchy drums and a vocal sample are peppered by bright synth pops and mellow guitar plucks.