Boomkat Product Review:
Club futurist Toumba lands on Nervous Horizon with his most exceptional set to date, sweeping past last year's Hessle-breakout 'Petals' with a suite of tightly engineered, syncopated belters that take their cues from the Bedouin sounds of southern Jordan. RIYL 3Phaz, DJ Plead, Shackleton or Amazondotcom.
'Janoob' means "the south" in Arabic, and refers to the area of Jordan inhabited by Bedouin peoples, tribes of originally nomadic Arabs whose music and culture still plays a significant role in the region. Amman-based DJ and producer Yazan Zyadat, aka Toumba, uses this as a starting point for his latest EP, taking Bedouin syncopations and building them out into heaving, chrome-plated dancefloor exercises that pound with giddy provocation. Even from the opening track, we're given a clue that this material is gonna be heavier than anything that's come prior on Toumba's run of acclaimed 12"s for Hypnic Jerks, All Centre and Hessle. Made up of a lattice of warm kicks, footwork-inspired toms and resonant hand drums, its a track that establishes the producer's musical biome - each subsequent banger is rooted in its sonic ecosystem, inhaling the same air.
'Qasf' is an unstable answer to warehouse techno, underpinning xenharmonic drones, wiry leads and snatched vocals with a rubberized thump that practically bounces from concrete wall to concrete wall. Woozier still is 'Eqla3', playing like a transmission from another galaxy, all fractured bleeps and swinging beats that trip over each other to move perpetually fwd. It only gets better from here: 'Rashash' is a pacy blur of rolling drums and chemically-assisted risers, while 'Back of the Hand' sounds like a West Asian answer to grime, hammering a bolshy square synth around clusters of unstable electro-acoustic drums and psychedelic FX. At a time when everyone's seemingly trying to bite off a chunk of the region's creative flesh, Toumba has fitted his frame with smart cybernetic enhancements, looking backwards only to pay respect to history.