It’s no wonder why Mohamed Assani called his album Wayfinder — the collection of music explorations with an emphasis on innovation is a guiding light towards genre hybridity. Embracing the classical power of the sitar and pairing it with electronic emphasis and rhythms, Wayfinder is an instrumental ambient escape.
“Awakening” opens the record with a nod to traditional Indian and Pakistani music before dipping into synthetic beats and a danceable swing. The line walking between traditional and experimental continues — particularly on “Black Sugar”, which finds organic concreteness turning inwards for a coalescence of instrumentation at the end.
Wayfinder shines most clearly when it a clear intention. “Lullaby for Guli” is a strong highlight. The track begins, as you would expect, in gentleness with a sweet melody, but soon launches into something more adventurous. Slumber gives way to dream, which falls once more into the delicate. “Darbari Dub” also carries a clear through-line. A club beat is overlain on an anxious, buzzing energy. This track is busy, populated by sounds and experimentation that continues into the rise and high-speed chase ambiance of “Transit”.
Wayfinder was created in the middle of many nights amongst the Kootenay Mountains in British Columbia and this spacious mood seeps in, expanding the reach of Assani’s geographical connections and adding a mysterious moonlit sense. Whether you are listening during the day or at night, indoors or safely outside, this record will pull you on a journey.