Today’s find is the first track released off the upcoming Grace EP, by Philadelphia, PA-based electronic musician dj haram. “Gemini Rising” is a study in potential energy, somehow accomplishing the near-impossible task of building ever upward without bleeding away tension as it goes. The track follows an airy synthesizer lead that snakes menacing through a densely layered minefield of percussion, rigged up with sounds that resemble clanging pots and pans, slamming car doors, and cocking guns. Every time a layer is briefly stripped away (which usually signifies a “BRAH WAIT FOR THE DROP” moment in dance music), you find yourself preparing for that final, satisfyingly simple release, when the bass kicks in and the drums fall in lockstep. “Gemini Rising” doesn’t let you off that easy, and at each of these moments hits you with another rattling, polyrhythmic study in rising action. That’s not to say there aren’t moments where dj haram lets loose; several passages bring to mind images of ecstatic movement, but with a martial air rather than a euphoric one, more war cry than dance party, and still stretching upward like a rubber band about to snap. The music is almost militaristic in its intensity, and reminds me of something you’d hear from the great Chicago-based footwork musician Jlin. A fascinating and bracing listen for this Monday morning.
Side note: The richly colorful album art, designed by Samantha Garritano, is incredible, and a large part of what drew me to this song in the first place.
Check out more from dj haram: https://djharam.bandcamp.com/
Check out Samantha Garritano’s work: http://www.samantha-garritano.com/