- An up-and-coming New York talent shows off his range, working traditional Pakistani instruments into sleek techno.
- In his hometown of Karachi, producer Haamid Rahim, AKA Dynoman, was a key player in the Pakistani city's small electronic music community. He cofounded the Forever South collective, which pushed everything from experimental rap to deep house, while throwing underground raves with partner-in-crime Rudoh wherever they could. Now based in New York, Rahim organises parties under the name Rare Frequency Transmissions. He's been making music and promoting for well over a decade—starting with IDM, hip-hop and ambient before zeroing in on techno—and his journey has led him to a sound that emphasises chuggy basslines, flighty synth patterns and deconstructed tabla. The mood is minimalist and hypnotic.
On Agility, the follow-up to Rahim's 2021 album Journeys, traditional instruments from Pakistan are fused with lithe drum programming to make warped techno. The music has both raw force and graceful flow, as Rahim moves across energetic basslines and atmospheric synths with a delicate touch that accentuates every handclap and hi-hat. Jaldi," the opening track, encapsulates this attention to detail. Cut-up samples of a tabla (and a player's voice counting down beat patterns) are sprinkled over chopped-up recordings of a santur (a type of zither made with wood) and sculpted kicks for pure, percussive magic.
The dark techno of "Shadow Step" is another highlight. It's an adrenaline-fuelled track that feels like an obstacle course, with aggressive synth stabs darting out at every corner and an equally aggressive vocal sample on loop. On "Celerity," ominous synths are interspersed with zigzagging bleeps for a twisted, trippy feel, while background chants that are common across South Asian folk music keep momentum levels high.
It's obvious that Rahim is inspired by the music of his homeland, but it's also not his priority. He uses traditional instruments like any other production tool and while some tracks are centred around them, his focus is creating techno rather than reimagining Pakistani rhythms. Fellow New York artists Ayesha and Bergsonist operate with a similar mindset, incorporating sounds from their respective cultures for the purpose of producing straightforward dance music. After years of jumping across styles, Rahim seems to have finally settled into a groove, and Agility shows just how far he's come.
02. Shadow Step
03. Like Lightning