With his debut album Coeur Calme announcing his arrival in 2014, 22 year-old Kimyan Law has come back with the outstanding release of Zawadi. Setting the bar even higher this time, he returns to the forward-thinking label Blu Mar Ten Music. The 11-track album explores the vast world of drum and bass, pushing the boundaries even further.
An exile from his homeland due to the Congolese Civil War and a victim of racism as a child, Kimyan Law turned to music as a soothing release from the displacement of home and the harsh social realities of his adopted Vienna.
The opener track Sakania sets the mood with a huge atmospheric, orchestral opening that encapsulates you from the get go. There is a warm feeling with soulful brass, whilst tripping snares collide beneath the surface. The journey is off to a positive start.
Up next is the gentle, restrained, and subtle ballad Magic featuring the unique voice of Clara Luzia. There’s a fairy tale story to it as Clara sings ‘I call it magic, that I found you’ over bouncing synths and soft drums. Kimyan Law has found what he has been searching for, but it’s so early on in the story something is bound to change.
Change is exactly what happens as Kimyan draws you back to his jungle influences with rumbling snares and bass rippling through twinkling percussive beats in Yore Dub. It’s dark and sombre, the turn in the emotional rollercoaster as Kimyan lets his emotions ooze out.
This attitude continues throughout Mondegreen, a track that features echoing vocals from Phentix. Aia brings you back to the beginning with the orchestral atmosphere as it opens with an enchanting, emotive melody – almost acting as a break away from the drums and deep bass, to think about the messages that are being portrayed throughout.
As you enter the second half of the album, the mood is darker with the fierce and aggressive, experimental track Luba. It is short, sharp and snappy focusing solely on his percussive sound with tribal elements. There is a strong drive running throughout the track, which switches in Citadelle, bringing it back to his more melodic, uplifting sound – featuring vocals from MOSTA.
Komorebi proves how progressive his sound is with rippling layers blending smoothly with luscious synths. It’s a personal favourite on the album as it oozes with energy and creative flare – putting itself up there with one of the finest recent developments in drum and bass. Kimyan Law continues his rollercoaster into the moody, dub-wise echo chamber effects of September featuring May and Berlin’s own Robot Koch.
The last two tracks bring the album full circle as ‘Lavender’ begins with an atmospheric vibe of echoing synths – mimicking that of Sakania. Whilst White Moth Anthem brings everything to a close, jittering basslines and loud trumpets scream his emotions with a one-minute silence in the middle giving you a chance to reflect and digest the journey you’ve just been on.
Flowing through the album is like experiencing the emotional quest of Kimyan Law, escaping from the Congolese Civil War to oppression in his adopted Vienna. Swahili for ‘gifts’, Zawadi is a fitting title for an album where his drive and motivation for change pours through with a deeply personal exploration of both melancholic and quietly energising emotions – whilst his message is loud and clear. As a gift to the listener, I am a grateful receiver.
02. Magic (feat. Clara Luzia)
03. Yore Dub
04. Mondegreen (feat. Phentix)
07. Citadelle (feat. MOTSA)
09. Sepetmber (feat. Robert Koch & May)
11. White Moth Anthem
Buy or stream ‘Zawadi’ below: