A pair of beauties here from DC-born, London-based, Iraqi-Puerto Rican-originated Waleed. He’s only released these two tracks thus far, but they’ve received immense support from the likes of Four Tet, Dan Snaith, Floating Points, and Ben UFO, attention that ultimately also quickly secured him a deal with the venerable German label City Slang (European/sometimes home for the likes of Caribou, José Gonzalez, Yo La Tengo, Gold Panda, Calexico, etc).
Not much more information about Waleed has yet surfaced to provide much context for his music, but it shares plenty with the work of its high profile supporters, none of whom are slouches, to say the least. Both songs have a nice heft to their shuffle, and plenty of intricate detail. A comparison to Burial is unfortunately inescapable here given the post-garage swing in those drums, but where the godfather tends towards the icy, rainy, and cold, Waleed manages to imbue his music with a good deal more optimism, humidity, and sweat. Both of these songs still have enough emotional weight to tug the heartstrings, but Waleed does a great job of steering clear of the sap, which is hard to say for many others in the genre.
Despite the ever-crowded field, and the relative simplicity of these songs, it’s really no wonder he’s gotten a different level of attention compared to others exploring this sound. It’s natural, easygoing, and loose music that still sounds perfectly intentional and professional.
There are still copies of the 12″ available, and I can kind of imagine the first pressing might become a bit of a collectors item, so grab a copy on bandcamp. (Or stream away, as you do). And definitely check the video for the b-side, “Sueños”, animated by Matt Portner.
Waleed – “Se Rompen” (bc)
Waleed – “Sueños” (bc)