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  • Writer's pictureZim Ahmadi

ALBUM REVIEW: "Map of Absences" - Turning Jewels Into Water


Indian-born drummer/producer Ravish Momin along with Haitian electronic percussionist Val Jeanty come together in their latest record, manifesting in a fit of industrial tantric chants, while peeking through walls of electronic sound. There's a realm between glitchy and seamless that "Map of Absences" occupy which is hard to put into words. All at once, you can hear a torrent of the traditional and the futuristic. "Map of Absences" might sound feverish, but the urgency occupies a real space. An urgency that dictates a world where basic human rights are still repressed.

On their Bandcamp page, Turning Jewels Into Water talks about the record's intentions: "Our full-length record, 'Map Of Absences' is a reflection on the regressive state of human rights, deepening refugee crises and the worsening impacts of climate change worldwide. Imagine a world where refugees of color are free to cross borders, LGBTIA people are treated fairly and respectfully, and environmental healing technologies are widespread. These ideas are unfortunately absent from our current reality. We say ‘absent’ instead of ‘forgotten’ as the latter implies an instance of memory or a record of those things having existed".

This utopian party comes with rollercoaster nuances, neither limitlessly joyful or endlessly abysmal. In the duo's endeavour at creating a world filled with hope, you can sense the uncertainty. The seamless turntable work on the tracks have a lot to do with that. The track "Dark Waters Rushing In" also captures this exhilarating purgatory between technology and tradition. The vocal samples in the track make it sound like a whirlwind of modernity tearing up everything in its path with calls for civility and calm in times of need. The little percussion in the middle of an incendiary arrangement in Desert Fire is also noteworthy.

Although as an instrumental piece, it does have its dragged out moments that seize to add to contemplation or excitement. Much of this is exonerated by a whole lot of fun. The tracks chug on like a force of nature, suddenly slowing to a stop with the title track. The celebration continues with the remixes, like the ebullient, club rendition of Talang by PlayPlay.

The intriguing sticks around long enough to draw you in, and the powerful spaces in between the corrupted jigsaw puzzle of the world can be felt on the coating and cracks of this record.

RATING: 4 / 5


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