Without making extra noise, Abhir Hathi It has become one of the reference names among the prescribers and experts of the new national scene, which is difficult to assign to any specific genre, for which the urban label is too small. A true alternative scene that in Spain is undoubtedly born from the know-how of the trap boom and that does not resign itself to making what we have been calling (I don’t know if wrongly or not) mainstream music. Is a local artist mainstream who, at the time of writing this review, has over a million monthly listeners? This question, like many others, is one that arises with releases like ‘BROWN BOY’, the new album by Abhir Hathi, one of those works that arrive on the scene loaded with noise behind them, and that demonstrate the good state of health of a Spanish public to whom these proposals would have been practically incomprehensible five years ago. Because? Simply because no artist had dedicated themselves to transferring the prevailing codes in the Anglo-Saxon alternative scene -What is alternative in a market where any of the popes of this movement oscillate between legend and SuperFestival headliner?-.
‘BROWN BOY‘is an album with deep North American roots, and its maker Abhir Hathi He is one of the artists who grew up with Kanye West in the same way that the previous generation grew up with Don Omar. The difference is that there is little to innovate about Kanye. The passage of time is inexorable. Abhir Hathi releases an album that tries to combine the creative zeitgeist in which the Canarian music scene is immersed, with the background of Toronto or Chicago, on the other hand, main sources of inspiration for other spearheads of the same such as Cruz Cafuné. The mandate to build local to achieve global should prevail over the dominance of inspiration.
All in all, we are facing a sophomore LP that represents a step forward in Abhir’s career and that will surely surprise many national listeners who “are already into the movement.” It will be possible for few outsiders to new trends to open the door. The atmosphere in which the entire work is enveloped is coherent and Abhir manages to take it to the end, without boring or losing his fingers. Halfway between that ‘MUSIC 2 RIDE 2’, which Abhir himself displays and some epic and processional moments, mixing the strong bass and the speed of many of the vocal melodies. That is a job that, unfortunately, few artists in Spain who come from the underground know how to carry out, sometimes sounding like an accumulation of flows and production designs each from his father and his mother. It helps that Abhir worked on the album almost entirely with Saint Lowe, and the result is optimal in that sense.
What I don’t understand so much about everything that surrounds Abhir’s project is the attempt to convey to the public, through storytelling, that it is an album where he rescues an Indian influence and heritage that does not fully gel in the listener’s ear if he listens to the album. whole and even less so if you reach it through single and/or playlisted songs. There is more to the experimentation of MIA (because Anglo-Saxon) than to that root. Beyond certain letters (‘SON OF IMMIGRANTS’; ‘BOMBAY TO LAS PALMAS’,…) there is more of an ego trip (well done) than of, as Dellafuente would say, “timeless folk music.”
Abhir gets it right ‘BROWN BOY’, which is a remarkable album and a blow to the table in terms of personal evolution. In this case, the level of support from musical partners and audiovisual (not critical) dissemination sets expectations that it does not fully meet. Despite that, the talent is more than present and the good lyrics dominate from the first moment on the album: (“Crystal clear like the sea in Portugal”), al final (“Racks are getting bigger, they don’t call mommy as much anymore, we had to fight them now we smell like tatami”). Achieving, in between their peak hours of work, brilliant moments like ‘ABEL’ or his collaborations with We$t Dubai, Cruz Cafuné or Quevedo. BROWN BOY’ It wins with every listen, and its depth is one of those in which you can’t put your foot down even if you want to. The noise around him may have put him in the spotlight, but Abhir wants to be the eye of the hurricane, and no one can create that except himself.