One of the newer collectives to emerge from South London’s prolific vista is Kala, the brainchild of Emer Dineen and Michael Crean. Alongside their 6-piece band, the duo have produced a debut track worthy of their name: Kala translates as ‘a skilled craft’, apparently.
‘Islands’ is the first track from Kala’s forthcoming EP and is prepped for release on July 20th. The EP has been in the pipeworks for over a year and was recorded during a stint at Sarm Studios. Sarm is a studio more famous for producing the pop-bland flavours of Akon and Justin Bieber. Luckily the sounds on show here are a world away from anything found in the back catalogues of those artists.
Jazz and soul make up the key influences on the track. The impact of contemporary electronic acts such as Bonobo and Flying Lotus are evident; Michael claims FlyLo would be one of his Desert Island Discs. Jazzy hi-hats skitter behind Emer Dineen’s melancholy vocal and create a propulsive rhythm that borders on breakbeat. Brass stabs and scuzzy guitar complete the equation and create a restrained intensity. Kala manage to incorporate both violin and brass into their composition without saturating or overcrowding the track. Emer describes the project as ‘quite foetal’ at the present – certainly a promising statement.