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Khalil is a new project from Nikolaj Vonsild (When Saints Go Machine / Cancer), produced by Simon Formann (Yen Towers / Lower) and Villas Klint. Debut album ‘The Water We Drink’ is a bold, brave move from Danish label Posh Isolation. The of act balancing stuttering electronica with glossy, high-definition, MTV friendly Auto-Tune vocal pop/R&B certainly isn’t an act of supply and demand. It’s the style of music (e.g Drake, Kanye West, Ke$ha) most followers of records on Posh Isolation would most likely keep their distance from.
My first impression was that it sounded like I was listening to mine and my children's records at the same time. Had I not been duty bound to write about this album, it’s highly likely I would have completely dismissed it. I’m glad I didn’t, because there’s some interesting stuff happening. The vocals were initially a huge hurdle, but I would recommend persevering with an open mind. The use of Auto-Tune on the vocals isn’t subtle, occasional pitch correction - it’s applied pretty heavily and the effect somewhat dehumanizes Vonsild's soulful voice - the effect like the voice of an androgynous synthetic lifeform with such advanced artificial intelligence it’s capable of emotion. The futuristic production often reminds me of the less intense moments of Rabit’s productions and there are similarities here and there to Croatian Amor, Arca and ANOHNI. ‘The Water We Drink’ leaves me with an overwhelming sense that as a child of the 80s, this is how I would have envisioned pop music would sound in 2017.
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