SMS #68 | Kapil Seshasayee – Laal


Now here’s a dude I feel like I haven’t talked about enough over Small Music Scene’s existence, and credit absolutely needs to be given where it’s due as he stands out as one of the most exclusive commodities in the Scottish scene, for 2 main reasons: 1) he dives into subject matters that most of the country’s public have zero knowledge about, and 2) he presents a “Desi-futurist” sound that is seriously unique and truly stands out from the crowd; seriously, with my 12 years involvement in underground music, practically nothing compares.

His debut album A Sacred Bore made major waves back in 2018, and after a strenuous 4 year wait, the sequel is finally here, and our patience has paid off. Through his record, Kapil seeks to take a stand against the disgusting politics and unjust inner machinations of the Indian Bollywood system, a topic I know practically nothing of, and I’m sure as I mentioned already the same applies to the general Western public; we’re all well aware of how evil the Hollywood system is, and it turns out its counterpart isn’t far different.

The Gharial is the ideal entry point, with Kapil’s very astute, sophisticated words focusing on the powers that be at Bollywood using their industry to produce these films that only further fuel and add strain to an already ongoing class crisis throughout the country. Sonically, the song is real catchy and the diverse fanciful use of instrumentals are admirably memorable. The Item Girl has a beautiful, lush flow via the warping synths and tickling chords. Kapil matches up with delicate mild harmonies of his own, and the track is critical of something that’s a little more universally familiar: the poor treatment of women and how they’re portrayed as basic sexual objects with little substance.

The sound of Hill Station Epithet, a standalone sequel to the Lil B song, is ridiculously blissful and ear-melting and features great vocal hooks. The Makings Of A Clown is like a neo-astral dream, it’s rad stuff, and it slips so smoothly into the stylistically similar Rupture Of The Wheel, painting a picture of those in charge who put people in these such obviously partisan scenarios and refuse to hold themselves accountable, no matter how much pain it causes others. Pakistani rapper Polymath from Daranti Group joins in for a verse, and his voice packs plenty of raw force.

The back to back selections Funny Boy and The Pink Mirror scathingly strike back at minority groups being misrepresented and shunned to the side, and that displeasure is musically noted in both pieces’ conspicuously dark and shadowy vibes, with the latter also radiating a mesmerising energy. I Whitewash The Old West has a solid kick to it and is defined by Diljeet’s markedly present lovely airy flutes, 370 is elegantly luminescent, and the terrific Lewd Cabal serves as a final lasting recap on everything that’s he covered to throw one last middle finger to Bollywood’s broken system, one that’ll hopefully see some major overhauls sooner than later.

Very few records as of late hold the level of importance that Kapil Seshasayee’s sophomore release does. As a result of what I was presented in Laal, I actually went out of my way to study and examine the thematic matters, and I rarely do such a thing, as usually the writing of music tends to be personable and speaks for itself, and in the end I gained an education. This is a perfect example of why we should go out of our way to discover and take the plunge on new music, this is why folk should make more effort to step out comfort zone and discover something new, outside the box, away from what they’re complacent with, they get to understand what’s happening around the world that they’ve not experienced outside their bubble, they can get an idea that injustice spreads far and wide. It’s not exactly pretty but it’s healthy to be exposed to it and be made aware, especially when Western media couldn’t care less to give it a spotlight.

Anyway, bottom line, Kapil is an outstanding talent, and this record is only the second of a trilogy, there’s still one more piece of the puzzle to come, and I eagerly await it.

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