Komorebi: “The Fall”

Although DJ Shadow turned trip-hop instrumentals into an American institution at the tail end of the ’90s, we can’t overlook the influence of pioneering English artists like Massive Attack, Portishead, and Sneaker Pimps earlier in the decade. Their unique placement of feminine falsettos over seductive, sample-and-synth-heavy soundscapes still inspires acts today, not just in the UK, but to far reaches of the former British Empire. We’re not actually going to argue for bygone colonial influence, but that thread did occur upon hearing some fresh stuff from New Delhi singer Tarana Marwah, better known as Komorebi. This brilliantly bizarre producer-songwriter wowed with her 45-minute Fall 2017 debut full-length Soliloquy before swinging through SXSW in 2019 and 2022. Marwah recaptures magic from Bj√∂rk and Radiohead to Imogen Heap and GORILLAZ with a near-indescribable Eastern twist and an undying ability to wow (both solo or with one of her frequent collaborators). And speaking of teaming up, Komorebi actually worked with Austin’s own Chicken Ranch Records for her sophomore LP The Fall. Well, despite the summer temps, this morning The Fall finally arrived. Half solo, half group effort (including frequent confederate Blackstratblues and some incredible arrangements), The Fall is a narrative festival for the ears that demands to be heard front to back. In doing so, the trickling of trip-hop (on tracks “I Grew Up”, “The Fall”, and “Tangled And Familiar”) when paired with their less percussion-laden counterparts really helps with the pace, impact, and emotional dynamics of the album. From the aural eclecticism that reveals itself, it’s clear that Komorebi’s fervent, unfenced formulas are far from fizzling out. But if genre formulas are what you’re after this Friday, start your weekend off right with the potent Portishead-esque title track that’ll transport you straight back to the days of Dummy. Slay, Komorebi. Slay.