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Farhot 'Kabul Fire' (Little Beat More)

A1 'Check' feat. Juju Rogers & Nneka / A2 'Kalun'
B1 'Yak Sher'

(Little Beat More)

Impressions of countries like Afghanistan are dominated by negative narratives such as wars in western media, humanity is portrayed in often narrow and sad stories of survival, yet the human spirit when it turns its attention to the arts reveal much deeper levels of culture, creativity and beauty. It is these endeavours that can and do build bridges between cultures and foster empathy, understanding and ultimately friendship. These are the stories that should be told.

And so Afghan-born Farhot, now residing in Hamburg, is one such storyteller. A new artist to my ears personally, and one that has immediately impressed me hugely. These 3 tracks are taken from the LP Kabul Fire Vol. 2, a wonderful collage of sounds that weaves Middle Eastern instrumentation and Western beats with precision and confidence. It's hip hop, but also jazz, it's fresh and 'right now' but also somehow feels timeless.

The lead cut 'Check' features rapper Juju Rogers and award-winning Nigerian songwriter Nneka is definitely the choice for a 'hit' single. But for me, it's the instrumentals where Farhot's talents shine the brightest: 'Kalun' is a crunchy and painfully short-lived exercise of chopped up vocal samples and spectacular beats woven into a beautiful tapestry of sonic brilliance.

And then follows 'Yak Sher', wow, just wow! An almost undefinable piece of music, the cross-pollination and influence that is skilfully intertwined within these bars exude class, this is a producer at one with his musical vision, deftly interpreting what he hears in his own head and perfectly revealing it for the ears of others. I can almost see the smile on Farhot's face when those opening strings and beats come together in the studio, with him remarking "yeah, that's it, right there".

I know we focus on 45s here, but I strongly recommend digging deeper and getting the full-length album, there is much more perfection, especially on the piano-led triumphant and quietly anthemic 'Pul', a real gem.

I for one will be digging into Farhot's back catalogue and watching out for more from this exceptionally talented producer, and it is with thanks to Little Beat More who constantly expose new sounds that we have the pleasure of discovering.

Buy: Bandcamp / Juno