Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Aleem Khan - Urbana Champaign (2016)

We've been at an impasse in the CCPS offices over the past week or so. We had planned on posting this new tape from Aleem Khan, but we haven't been able to fully figure it out yet. We saw Aleem's Sled Island set in June, and were left with our jaws on the floor. How had the kid from Shaani Cage with a penchant for playing soul music with guitars means for garage rock turned into a demure soul-pop-jazz-r&b dynamo?

Aleem quietly released a digital-only (and sadly no longer available) solo album last year that took the work he and brother Kaleem Khan started with Shaani Cage and launched it in a more organic, introverted direction. Urbana Champaign is perhaps the extension of that trajectory. It feels like the work of an artist who has just realized he has the chops and vision to make something amazing, and is testing the limits of said chops and vision. Aleem has left behind his guitar, opting for a reed organ and horns to produce a tape that is gorgeous, bewildering and fascinating. We've listened to this tape almost daily for the past month - it's like a Chinese finger trap that we haven't been able to free ourselves from. We're not sure if we want to free ourselves from it.

Get the tape via Aleem Khan's bandcamp.

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