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INSHA, a collection of sonic stories co‑curated by KMRU and Ableton Nairobi User Group

INSHA is the collaborative work of the creative hub, Nairobi Ableton User Group, and ambient act KMRU, opening space for a new age of Kenyan producers and creatives on a 14-track compilation. Munyasya, premieres his own track “Borrowed Cadences” exclusively on PAM. 

African musical productions are abstract configurations that demonstrate a common fundamental creative principle of mediating the physical and metaphysical worlds. INSHA is centered on time and the evolution/relationship of these cultural-creative influences. The compilation inquires aspects of traditional cultures, physical or metaphysical from communities in Kenya, and acts as inspirations and sonic paraphernalia.” Led by the collaborative community at Nairobi Ableton User Group and Kenyan ambient virtuoso KMRU, the INSHA compilation explores the many layers of Kenya’s foundations. 

Generous in knowledge and collaborations, KMRU had already compiled the Place: Nairobi LP in 2021, as well as the second volume of the Open Space series, as PAM reported in 2022. This time around, 14 artists are contributing to the project with intimate pieces of work. While some are tackling sentiments of culture loss through colonization, and the need for escapism, others embrace themes of self-expression, tradition, and music as  self-therapy. INSHA gathers 14 artists from the ambient and electronic scene, including Nyokabi Kariũki, Manch!ld, Avom, Kimina, Snse, M³, and Munyasya, a Nairobi-based experimental electronic artist, premiering his track “Borrowed Cadences” with PAM. 

Dark and bass-heavy, “BORROWED CADENCES” travels through different horizons and influences, its muted heartbeat and pitched synthetic melody leading to opposite directions. Perhaps it is what Kenya looks like now, with its more recent external factors, internal forces, and traditions making up its new DNA. The audience is left with many questions about the country’s musical heritage and answers that transcend the actual music. After all, “INSHA serves as a bridge between the past and future music creators on a more fundamental level than usual record keeping.”

INSHA, available February 24th via Nairobi Ableton User Group.