The first thing that springs to mind at the thought of Throwing Shade’s NTS shows is an overwhelming sense of discovery and wonder. She reaches far and wide for her selections, deftly shining lights on places often unexplored by many music lovers. Ventures such as her Muslim jazz showcases are hugely appreciated in a society that only seems to mention Islam when they can pair it with negativity, a world that filters cultures and histories through a white lens before we can interact with them. The way Throwing Shade presents these musics is on a very real and unassuming level; here are some things different folk have created, here’s some information, here’s some context – let’s not exoticise anything for not being Western and contemporary.
Throwing Shade is Nadihah Iqbal – producer, DJ, ethnomusicologist and recent entrant in our Truancy Volumes mix series. Her track “Chancer” appeared in Deadboy’s mix for us, released in the wake of her 19 Jewels EP for No Pain In Pop. 19 Jewels saw Iqbal dabble in different styles, always led by glacial synths. There’s the eerie grime-leaning “Once”, followed by the fluid pitch-shifting slow burn of “Real Bad”. The first track serves as a light-hearted daydream collaboration with Emily Bee, who also appears on Iqbal’s new EP for the same label, Fate Xclusive.
Fate Xclusive is Throwing Shade’s music after dark, whereas 19 Jewels was illuminated by the light of day. All four tracks (and their respective moods) are best served evening onwards. “Honeytrap” is unabashedly seductive, airy chimes and vocals imbuing it with a sort of breathlessness, and between Emily Bee’s alluring rhymes and the unshakable refrain of, “Honey, honey, drip drip drip,” it’s very easy to be comfortably caught in the web. Drawing to a close with emphasised whispers in French, ending with, “l’espionnage d’amour,” it wilfully embraces the typical hallmarks of Western romance without a hint of irony. Which is cool, because even the most extreme levels of saccharine are all good when you’re totally smitten with someone.
“4eva Fate” is the most straightforward club track on the record, really hitting home for the emotional and dramatic dancefloor crew. Whilst not particularly minimalistic, it does see Iqbal operate a more stripped back approach with only a couple of layers of haze enshrouding a driving house beat that’s stylistically derivative of that recent New York sound. As the claps, cascading strings, rising and falling synth melodies and crystalline pulses coalesce, you’re caught in a pocket of calm amidst a storm – watching rain shower down from indoors. “Mirror” and “4Drake” tone things down, the former a lament featuring some amazing vocal samples whilst the latter does all its talking through morose wanderings up and down the keyboard. However you’re feeling – and however the weather’s feeling – Throwing Shade has something prepared to match or really bring out your mood on Fate Xclusive.
Throwing Shade’s Fate Xclusive EP is out now on No Pain In Pop, available on vinyl or digital here.