Let’s give New Year’s Day one more try. Over three hours of live-streamed pristine ambient delicacy from rising star KMRU should fit the bill. Immerse yourself, and then if you feel the need to make your own sounds, catch a workshop or other inspiration, too.
Joseph Kamaru has been making waves all year with a real rise to international prominence, particularly after a debut on Editions Mego in 2020. But these exquisite textures have been flowing out of his machines for some years, in an elegant, fragile beauty of loops and layers.
On New Year’s Day he did a full 3 hour-plus live set, which gives you a sense of how he improvises – and comes with some gorgeous visuals, too (which he likewise performs simultaneously live). No embed link, so just click through:
Camera and edit : @woloban / firstname.lastname@example.org
Direction : @bread6k
Joseph Kamaru (KMRU), is a sound artist, and producer based in Nairobi. He is notable for making intelligent atmospheric and emotionally experimental music, giving a personal touch using everything from gritty indigenous sounds to field recordings and synthesis to create intricate sonic soundscapes. Made possible by Pankow Amt für Weiterbildung und Kultur
I see a Russian Soma synth in there, too.
And another live performance, a live AV from fall 2019, played simultaneously at Klub Kegelbahn in Luzern, Switzerland and on Dublab radio:
Even as Peel is featured again and again on year-end lists – and it is great – I really enjoy the gems Joseph keeps cranking out on Bandcamp. It’s funny, I see resistance from critics about artists being prolific, and I definitely feel it’s bad if artists feel obliged to be prolific. But there’s also something wonderful about just getting expressions out there. It results in a different kind of work, music that can be personal and take different shapes and forms and not always wind up on year-end best lists. And at least in the case of KMRU’s Bandcamp stream, there’s just always something new and wonderful to hear. So I think it’s a good reason not to be afraid to put things out there. (But then, my perspective is always as a producer before it is as a critic.)
Anyway, let’s enjoy this:
I should add, I’ve watched Joseph build up that fanbase on Bandcamp first, and just getting sounds out there. And that’s wonderful, not necessarily because it’ll work for everyone, but it’s great to see listeners just find actual music.
For added inspiration, there are some great behind-the-scenes videos talking about how Joseph works:
Broken machines! Ableton has a quick hit, too:
Look forward to seeing you back in Berlin, Joseph.
More – and this is definitely the best way to discover his work (old-fashioned websites over Instagram, every time):
We’ve talked about tradition and newness before, so this is a must-read from his writing:
And I appreciate long-reads. Here’s a terrific interview and proper deep listening from the aptly-named A Closer Listen – a site that’s a gem in itself, and a welcome throwback to the days of deep dive blog articles that care about music:
Photo courtesy the artist.