EP Review: Chaal – Darama

Over the last several years, Ahadadream & Sam Interface’s More Time Records has shown itself as one of the most consistent, reliable, and versatile labels in dance music. Their catalog has boasted an impressive roster of artists from all over the globe making creative club music, and they have a particular knack for finding hidden gems from emerging artists like South Africa’s Mxshi Mo and Saudi Arabia’s Leila Samir, showcasing their veteran-level skill in their releases on the label.

London-based newcomer Darama is a prime example of such an artist. His music first caught my attention through his Darama Dubs series which shows him deftly traversing through multiple genres on his bootlegs of popular songs. He’s also part of the rising collective Daytimers, a group of South Asian artists and DJs whose Boiler Room showcase last year proved very popular—Yung Singh in particular had a spectacular & viral set for the event. Darama has previously only released bootlegs as well as loose songs on various artists compilations by Daytimers, so Chaal marks his first official solo release.

The artists on both More Time and Daytimers typically opt for a percussion-heavy sound, and right away the opener “Vera” delivers strongly; it even features his family playing percussion on this soothing-yet-danceable intro track. The energy then picks up with “Dracaena,” a fantastic tune that is very much in line with the Hard Drum sound that label co-founder Ahadadream frequently makes. The show-stealer here, however, is closer “Blue Frog,” one of the more unique club-oriented tracks I’ve heard in a while. It starts off innocently with a bit of South Asian-influenced instrumentation and then proceeds to drop into an absolute UK Garage belter that would guarantee to get a rewind if you played it in the club.

Despite only being his debut, Chaal certainly stands out as one of the more impressive releases in its style so far in 2022—he is a rising star, and this is hopefully the beginning of a fruitful and fantastic career for him.

Follow Darama on Spotify.   

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