Ever wary of the evil eye, the title of Imaad Wasif's Dzi comes from The Tibetan Book of The Dead. Pronounced 'zee,' the word translates to "shine, brightness". Dzi may or may not contain references to love, paranoia and delusion. Characterized by Wasif’s psychonautic sound, it's a marked departure from the acoustic guitar and folk rock style established by The Voidist and veers more into the uncharted territory of indoproto-dream metal. Wasif, an Indian singer, songwriter and guitarist, known for his simplistic compositions and dark emotional ballads contrasts vulnerability with riffs that strive against the notion that rock n roll has completed its historical trajectory. Dzi is a foray into psychedelic rock, and credited as “the last Western rock album to integrate Indian raga sounds.”
From the opening chords of the intro Way Inside, with its Morricone/Rosemary’s Babyshadow, it becomes apparent that Wasif is chasing a ghost. “Follow into wind/Follow me the way we took/Follow me higher...” Wasif’s new album is an off the cuff abandonment of processes, both in writing and recording. A choice to forgo modern technology, screens and infinite tweaking in favor of basic recording equipment and live takes. Dzi was recorded on a Tascam Cassette 8 track in a conscious decision to tap back into the primitive thrill, the spontaneous energy, the subconscious stream and entanglement in the mysteries that first drew him in to music.
To date, Imaad Wasif has released three solo albums, 2006’s S/T (Kill Rock Stars), 2008’s Strange Hexes (World In Sound), 2011’s The Voidist (Tee Pee) as well as numerous collaborations. His credits include early slo-core noise pop duo lowercase (Amphetamine Reptile), his psych folk band alaska!, albums with Lou Barlow & The Folk Implosion, and Grim Tower, a deathfolk album with Black Mountain’s Stephen McBean. He has also recorded with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lykke Li and co-wrote songs with Karen O on the soundtrack for Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are.
His forthcoming album, Dzi, will be released on June 16 via Grey Market. It was produced with Bobb Bruno (Best Coast) and mixed by Mark Rains (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club).
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