With his roots in Assam, northeast India, and his hustle now based in Brooklyn, the psychedelic soul-savant known as jitwam. will officially drop his second album on the Copenhagen-based label Tartelet Records in May 2019. To mark its release, a music video to the album’s opener “busstop” was shot in the exhilarating city of Mumbai across three days.
HONEYCOMB hits the sweet spot between jitwam’s work in dance music and efforts as a bandleader, connecting people in-studio and on-stage. The record encapsulates his diverse upbringing in India and Australia, before living in monasteries in Thailand, orphanages in South Africa, and finally the US, where he currently resides.
On jitwam’s journey, he’s worn several musical faces that all highlight soulful sounds within the world of psychedelic indie rock, the hip-hop realm, and underground house music.
These sounds and musical identities are apparent in his 12-track album of broken microphone blues, heartfelt vocals, and smooth assorted instrumentation. It follows jitwam’s well-received EPs on his own imprint, The Jazz Diaries, which secured him a spot on Moodymann’s DJ Kicks compilation.
HONEYCOMB was recorded at the Steam Room Sessions studio in London, where Natureboy Flako lent his special touch to jitwam’s tracks across some intimate collaborative sessions. We’re left with sonic “diary entries” that put a magnifying glass on life’s mundane moments, turning them into inspired tales of life, love, sadness, and periods of ecstatic release.
Album opener “busstop” finds him welcoming you into his world with warm guitar riffs, smooth basslines, and lyrics about the comforting chaos of urban life in India. Features are aplenty on the LP too: London artist Marie Bashiru adds croons to the buttery “diamonds” and “temptations”; trumpet is worked in by Henry Wu-collaborator Nick Walton; and frequent Brooklyn-based collaborator Aquiles Navarro features on the lullaby jam “hearts don’t lie.”
Hazy 90s hip-hop drums and warm synths bring the listener into “i’m a rock.” Going even deeper, jazz-funk enters the room on “trustt,” a tune that’s all groovy basslines and cosmic soundscapes. “opendoors” brings up the energy for one of the LP’s most full on, hands-up trips; it’s a mix of buzzing horns and uplifting vocals about the possibilities to be found in any moment if you just let go – and let loose.
HONEYCOMB frees jitwam from any parameters of a dance floor 12-inch. It blasts open the doors for an artist who fuses musical identities and stitches together ideas into some of the warmest music you’ll hear all year. Welcome to HONEYCOMB: A psychedelic journey through the inner beyond.