Kaleema’s debut album is a difficult one to categorise. A heady mix of beats, synths, world music styles, quena and tuned percussion – the Argentinian musician has crafted an album that feels huge and diverse in scope, sound and tone.
The opening thuds of “Anima” signal an arrival as the percussive aboriginal beats and sounds pour through over vocal loops and tuned glass. It’s epic, bass booming and tribal in a spiritual sense. Also tribal, but in a more pointed sense is “Sierra Leone” which plays with multiple percussive loops and woodwind to create a whirlwind of dance around your head. Add to that the shamen like windchimes and vocal samples, and you had a hedonistic chill out anthem. Throughout each track, Kaleema’s ability to perfectly capture the natural tone of tuned percussion is one of the many albums highlights, and “Ritual” is one of the best examples of that. It also showcases’ Kaleema’s own voice over the gritty dark electronica piece. Part tribe rave, part slow motion raj, it’s a wonderful mash-up of thoughts and textures – and this is Nomada’s true strength. It sounds and feels unique and not algorithmic in the slightest.
“Pendulo” takes a trip to South America with its boss nova beats and lush instrumentation as Kaleema shows off her heritage with pride and precision. “Copal” then begins the album’s slow shift towards something more RnB tinged as the instrumentation becomes more electronic and pulsating. This hits its peak later on with the urban “La Pregnunta del Milon” which is world urban with zithers. Sound barmy? it completely works. Before we hit that track we have three stunning pieces. The lush dulcimer and vocal duet of “Nomada” blossoms into a lovely piece over time whereas the trance-inducing “Mineral” plays of kalimba’s and wooden blocks like they are trapped in a sequencer. “Retorno de Saturno” is a beautiful South American instrumental that has pace, elegance and reminds me a lot of the “Papo and Yo” soundtrack. The album closes with the ambient surreal “Loto” which pulses the same note over and over, hopping around it with various instruments like a very thin battle charge track.
It’s a wonderful album, and I’m not sure quite how to sell it to you aside from saying there is so much heart and soul in these tracks, along with a clarity and warmth in the instrumentation, that you will fall in love with Kaleema’s sound upon first listen.
Recommended Track: Ritual