'Represent Heart' Farhot (Kabul Fire, vol. 1, Jakarta Records, 2013)

Such a sweet, sexy simplicity to this song by Farhot – producer of Talib Kweli, the Nigerian artist Nneka (more on her soon) and Selah Sue – who, according to the Paris radio station, Nova is based between Hamburg and Kabul, in his native Afghanistan.

Some time back, when listening to a song that shall remain nameless and liking it, I remember a friend dismissing the music by saying: ‘But it’s only two notes being repeated.’ I couldn’t argue with that, but it was missing the point the virtue and interest of the music lay in the fact that it was pared back, so foundational.

Something doesn't have to be complex and overly designed to have an impact; indeed, if you return to the beginnings it was all about the exposure of the elements, the hiss and the groove of the parts being seen as they were, untreated (and authentic).  

Much the same could be said for this music, even if its sensibility is as much pop as hip-hop. It’s the alchemy of that bassline groove and that sibilant beat that works (I’m not so taken by the sample from the film, ‘The Usual Suspects’ that strikes me as a bit too directive, too explicit - that desire for a wow, that's dope! reaction, but that’s not such a big deal). The energy in this music is strong. It works.

I first heard it, like many other pieces of music on Radio Nova: a station that is like a friend for me here, pleasing me and frustrating me - sometimes - in equal measure though more of the former in its joyous mix of (almost) all genres and eras. It's self-description is: 'Electronic, Eclectic.' This radio station is a wonderful thing, brimming with enthusiasm for music and supporting newer/independent artists from France and elsewhere. The soundtrack - or chosen song - for today on the station is Minor Threat’s ‘Straight Edge’ – funny.

‘Represent Heart’ featured on Farhot’s release, ‘Kabul Fire. Vol. 1’ it's described like this in the info notes:

Kabul Fire” is his first release under his own name, a mostly instrumental dedication to his and his families hometown Kabul. The project is not just another Madlib/Dilla/Premier copy, it has it’s own musical language and astehtik with influences ranging from Hip Hop too classic Afghan music and Reggae. Guest vocals are being committed by Ms.Dynamite, Talib Kweli and Kano & Giggs.  

Check out the entire record by Farhot here ….