Album Review: Sal Dulu - Xompulse

Album Review: Sal Dulu - Xompulse
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Sal Dulu
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Following singles drops of “Zumo” and “Girl” earlier this year, rising Dublin-based producer and instrumentalist Sal Dulu delivers his debut album Xompulse via Duluoz Records. Enriched with a variety of textures, Xompulse plays with genre-bending soundscapes that explore electronica, ambient, jazz, hip-hop and soul, whilst enlisting credible hip-hop talent Fly Anakin, Koncept Jack$on and Stahhr for collabs.

The album debut is intended to take listeners on a journey through the transitional space between reality and dreams, drifting through atmospheric dreamscapes that Dulu has conjured from fragments of his aural and visual memories. Opening up the LP with “Ariel Visions”, Dulu harnesses slow jazz, whilst introducing ambient elements that could almost score the opener to a 80s film with its floating cinematic capabilities. 

Flowing into mellow waters, “She Belongs To Roth” is a twinkling piano delight that weaves amongst distorted strings and vocals croons whilst scattered sax riffs make for chirpy additions to a soothing instrumental. The first collaboration appears on “Zuma” with Fly Anakin, adding a thrilling twist to the release with lyrical assaults that flow amongst grooving instrumentals. Next up is album title track “Xompulse” that begins with haunting jazz keys that echo a state of limbo, levitating through a space of serenity that calms the senses. 

“Alien Boy 96” picks up the speed with ambient distortions amongst looping vocals and riffs, whilst “Girl” blends skewed rhythms and sweet serenades. Another exciting collaboration crops up for “B” which sees  Koncept Jack$on lend his rap talent, boasting smooth rhymes that spit their way through Dulu’s experimental flair and boom-bap touches. The beauty of downtempo melodies return, showcased on “Just Like Sonnenalle Blues” that blends hair-raising guitar strings through a swirling melting pot of electronica and jazz fusions. “I Kan” is another reverie to delve into, sprinkled with solar, sci-fi like qualities. Drawing the album to unforgettable close, “Buzzcut” is an awakening fuelled by the vocals of MF DOOM collaborator Stahhr who delivers bold hip-hop verses that soar across Dulu’s breakdowns, making for a complimentary collaboration. 

Joining the evolving legacy of instrumental greats like J Dilla, Madlib and DJ Shadow with his unique ear, Sal Dulu's Xompulse demonstrates his ability to combine an array of genres with perfect poise, doubling as an impressive debut from the Irish talent and tranquil escapism on tap. Over a year in the making that offers a glimpse into his most intricate thoughts, Sal Dulu’s album marks only the beginning of his flourishing journey.

Sal Dulu Xompulse is out now, buy / stream here

Connect with Sal Dulu: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify

Photo credit: Fergus Styles


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