Xosar "The Calling" b/w "Rays of Babylon"

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Netherlands-via-California producer Xosar (a.k.a. Sheela Rahman) emerged under the patronage of Danny "Legowelt" Wolfers in the last year, releasing two EPs in collaboration with him, as well as three of her own. All of her original material was assured enough, but hints of Wolfers's influence lingered throughout. While there are far worse producers to be compared to, his stamp is definable to the point that it could smother a nascent artist's other interests. It's nice, then, to hear some of Rahman's more unique qualities dominating the mix on this latest 12", "The Calling" b/w "Rays of Babylon."

Both tracks here take influence from early-'90s ambient and the less swung side of that era's New York/New Jersey house, and as a result, they fit snugly next to the kinds of throwbacks 100% Silk has been specializing in. "The Calling," in particular, recalls LA Vampires with its stabby organ, pillowy chords, and slurred, wispy call-and-response vocals singing about "energy." Rahman completes the track with clusters of radiophonic tones and sparkly synth flourishes, which accentuate its romantic atmosphere. "Rays of Babylon" is similarly lush, as she employs languid, subby bass tones, slow-motion backwards vocals, gleaming keys, and an unfettered flute line. But the track feels more streamlined overall, as its various trails converge in a glittery, constant climb. As with its counterpart, its combination of propulsion and heady ambiance is intoxicating, and can be registered as another sign of promise in Rahman's young career.