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Music Nabihah Iqbal

Published on January 12th, 2018 | by voxx


Nabihah Iqbal – Weighing of the Heart

The London producer mixes post-punk and ancient ritual on her frank opener…

Using the name Throwing Shade, since 2013 Nabihah Iqbal has created glitchy electronica somewhere to the left of Four Tet, progressing from abstract EPs on cult dance labels to being invited to play at London’s Tate Modern art gallery by artist Wolfgang Tillmans. Yet when it came to recording her debut, the Cambridge postgrad (she has an MPhil in African history) felt it was time to drop the mask, reclaiming her identity as a young Asian woman for an enigmatic, absorbing album that draws as much on early Factory Records as it does experimental laptop jams.

Recorded in her own studio space, with Iqbal playing all the instruments, the result has an unaffected candour rare in electronic music. It also draws on an array of musical inspirations, from the blurred, shoegazing vocals that radiate through ‘Something More’ to the Durutti Column-like guitar of ‘In Visions’ and the motorik rhythm that underpins Zone 1 To 6000’, a re-imagining of William Blake’s poem London.

It speaks to Iqbal’s skill as writer, performer and producer that the result is more than just a mesh of influences – or blunt statement on identity politics. In keeping with its title, which refers to an Ancient Egyptian belief that in the afterlife a person’s heart will be weighed against a feather, she’s created an album that discovers an uncanny balance all its own.

- By Jake White

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