Ya Tosiba: Mollah the Machine (Pingipung)
This 2-tracker from Berlin-based project Ya Tosiba sounds like the weird mutant offspring of skwee and grime, with chunky, crunchy beats, nods to chiptune, and a buoyant, headbobbing thrust. Finnish skwee vanguard Mesak is responsible for most production duties while Zuzu Zakaria is the vocal talent featured on both cuts, which couldn’t sound more different vocally.
“Molla” is the standout of the two for me, with its weird syncopated vocal and dreamy refrain that sounds like some estranged take on “Genie in a Bottle.” It’s at odds with the bitcrushed drums and chimes peppered throughout the heavy-handed mix, but it all works effortlessly.
“Maşin” on the flip has more of a disco crossover in its deep groove, but its off-kilter sounds and crushed effects still point toward producer Mesak’s history with skwee. It has an almost dub bob to it, with its alternating drums and chords, while Zakaria’s vocal flows like honey. Both cuts fuse elements of disparate genres and styles together in interesting ways, and it makes me curious to hear more.