Beatrice Dillon and Kuljit Bhamra – review

The release of producer Beatrice Dillon’s 2020 debut album, Workaround, heralded a unique talent. Over 14 compositions – each clipping along at a frenetic 150bpm – Dillon manipulated acoustic instruments as varied as the kora, tabla, saxophone and cello to sound as slippery and densely metallic as her computer-programmed electronics. An enveloping soundscape escaped its metronomic constrictions thanks to its shaking bass frequencies, snapping rhythm and piercing melody, resulting in computer music with immense feeling.

It’s Bhangra instrumentalist Kuljit Bhamra who plays the tabla on Workaround: by pressing the heel of his hand into the skin of the drum, he creates bass glissandos, bending notes to sound like the manipulations of a digital synth. Tonight’s show at Earth in east London homes in on this electro-acoustic alchemy as the pair perform a selection of works in progress. Bhamra plays cymbals and percussion, including a talking drum, timbale and gourd as well as a new digital instrument he has developed – the Tabla Touch – which converts each strike of a surface that mimics the tabla into a range of programmable sounds. Dillon’s setup, by contrast, is minimal, comprising just a laptop and sequencer.

Read the review in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 02/09/22]