Boomkat Product Review:
Ramallah's Muqata'a continues his flawless run with another disorienting blast of chaotic chopped breaks and lurching neo-beat tape MPC programming. Imagine Ras G collaborating with the SVBKBLT roster using samples from Middle Eastern radio transmissions: pure headmelters.
'Kamil Manqus' is the fifth full-length from Ramallah rhythm conductor Muqata'a, furthering his deep dive into the beat scene's outer realms as he yokes loose, free-flowing rap-tempo beats with noisy abstraction and oblique club forms. The title means "perfect imperfect" in Arabic, which is an alarmingly spot-on description of the album, betraying Muqata'a's skill as an engineer but never sounding overly polished or clean. Lurching rap rhythms made of machinegun hi-hats and booming TR-808 kicks sit at the base of each track but squashed into the edges you can just about make out the chatter of faint field recordings or ghostly musical snippets taped from the radio.
This production process grounds the album in Muqata'a's world; while the template is sometimes familiar - fans of Ras G's pioneering run of tapes will find plenty to sink their teeth into - Muqata's approach is fresh and refined. His concept for "Kamil Manqus" was to allow the samples he uses to reflect the natural fragmentation of memory, so on tracks like 'Simya' and sublime closer 'Ikmal' we hear Middle Eastern instrumentation and vocals chopped into shreds and timestretched to suggest the way we perceive the sounds that ink our personal biography. Muqata'a takes things to the next level when he allows a breakcore influence to seep in, playing DSP tricks against rolling breaks on 'Bilharf Alwahad' and the lowrider-adjacent 'Dirasat 'Ulya'.
"Kamil Manqus" succeeds because it blends past, present and future: Muqata'a isn't shy about referencing history or wearing his influences on his sleeve, but by allowing the personal to sit comfortably within his particular soundworld he makes tracks that absorb immediately and most importantly, thump relentlessly.