Heidi Lewandowski’s journey to the completion of Nómada, her debut album as Kaleema, has lasted a lifetime. From classical training in violin during her teens to studying electronic music production in New York, her formation in both areas has sparked endless curiosity for the fusion of the organic and the synthetic. That curiosity has led her to work and collaborate with like-minded artists, like fellow Argentine producer Chancha Via Circuito, Colombia’s Lido Pimienta, and even Kompakt’s own Gregor Schwellenbach. This has shaped the music she’s put out so far, as well as her upcoming album.
Nómada is influenced by the Afro-Colombian sounds she encountered while living in the South American nation for three years, the regional sounds of the Andes, and by contemporary genres like hip-hop, dancehall, and trap. It only takes a single listen to gain an understanding of her blend of punchy beats and the rich textures of organic percussion and string instruments.
But Nómada isn’t out just yet, and that’s why Kaleema decided to throw us a bone: a brand new mixtape called New Ritual. The 47-minute mix includes 14 songs that hint at the sound of her new album. Color us excited.
Much like Kaleema’s own music, the songs included in this mixtape are texturally diverse, overlapping electronic sounds and acoustic instrumentation. The mixtape title ends up feeling like an underlying concept, with hypnotic beats and chants in a variety of languages that feel like they are summoning a higher force.
Included are Chancha Via Circuito’s unreleased remix of Amadou & Mariam’s “Dougou Badia;” Italo-Ethiopian combo DJ Khalab & Baba Sissoko’s “Bognya;” and Turk veterans Baba Zula’s “Evsem Oldururler Sevmesem Oldum.” She jumps from one continent to another, and even though this set isn’t mixed in a precise and meticulous way, you just know the vibe is right. She even managed to pick out what’s probably Flying Lotus’ most tribal moment, 2008’s “Melt!,” and sandwich it between Umoja’s ridiculously fun track “Umboweti” and Clap! Clap!’s “Playfulness,” which closes out the mixtape.
There isn’t an exact release date for Nómada yet, but New Ritual sure is a great way to get you hype for it to drop.