This project from artist and musician Salih Kunduz has been a long time coming; a dream realized, in many ways. Its release – marking Kunduz’ 27th birthday – comes just in time for you to embrace the beauty that is Hello 27 to the fullest over the coming summer months.
While Hello, the title track, is an outstanding piece of music and a stunning place to begin if you’re new to Kunduz’ sound, the collection when experienced in full, in its rightful order, makes for something extraordinary and wonderful. You is the opener, a simple piano piece, a series of notes performed in a delicately emotional manner. The space within the track draws your focus right over to that melody, certain moments really stand out as key riffs, but the entire piece as a minimalist soundscape is ultimately very calming and enjoyable in itself.
The switch from You to Hello (Don’t Give Up) is where your mind is truly opened up to the artistry and abilities of Kunduz as a creative. This track is a masterpiece, by all accounts. I feel an uplifting sense of possibility when listening, not dissimilar to that experienced when Dario G’s Sunchyme plays at full volume. It’s a complex and multi-layered audio experience that has been flawlessly crafted and considerately presented to its audience. Fully immersive, beautifully catered to escapism, powerfully designed to enhance any moment with its energy and vibrancy.
There are many things about this project that impress, not least of all the clear musical abilities of the artist, shown through the sheer eclecticism highlighted throughout the seven tracks. That’s How Saturdays Should Be takes things in a slightly retro EDM direction, though still there’s this lightness about it, this classic synth-led melodic section that keeps you feeling energized and hopeful. The build-up is brilliant, production-wise everything about this album just hits exactly as it should. The drops are superb, this track in particularly takes you to new heights as it progresses. It feels mildly familiar but also incredibly creative – certain rising notes, this meeting of the organic and the electronic worlds of audio. Really unique and a pleasure to witness.
Explorer lightens the mood a little, the beat seems like a return to the signature sound of the project, but the music around this has a mellow, even melancholy, perhaps oriental element to it, changing the vibe to something calmer, more reflective and hypnotic. The melody is simple and adds to the entrancing nature of the soundscape. Later on, the details continue to impress – it’s all about the details with this release, though simultaneously, they all work as a unit superbly; creating the perfect go-to playlist for true music fans.
A classic EDM or house aura rises to the surface with Hold My Hand. A thick bass-line contrasts with a delicate and briefly scattered, lighter synth, among other layers of softness and colour. It’s a slow burner compared to some of the others, but you’re likely to be grateful for that. As you ascend higher and higher with the music, the gradual evolution feels incredible around you. Any sadness or struggle is quickly forgotten about.
Feeding further into eclecticism, showcasing yet another side to the musician, Miserable brings distortion and weight into the mix, meandering off in some progressive rock direction, still taking the craftsmanship of a flawless soundscape into account, but reminding you of the musicianship, the humanity, behind the project. Stunning guitar work guides the way for this one.
Till The Heart Breaks brings the project to a close with the almighty heaviness of a dark and seductive dance track. Once again though, nothing stays as you’d expect, the piece has been crafted with care, contrast utilised brilliantly, each building block paving the way perfectly for what will follow. The opposing forces in this, the thick drone of a distorted, bass-driven synth, and the lighter human voices, even the male vocal count-down – these work hard to keep you captivated from start to finish.
I love discovering new music and I spend my days doing exactly that; praising much of it, always being impressed – having an inherent appreciation and a sheer connection to the things people create. Every once in a while though, something completely shatters my expectations – reminding me just how powerful music can be when it’s created with the perfect combination of passion and precision. Hello 27 is an EP that has done exactly that.