Friday 11 November 2022

DUMHI: 'Uncle Miles' EP + Blue-in-Green:PODCAST #116 with Haj

'Uncle Miles' is the new EP release from the Dumhi musical collective.

'Dumhi', the over-arching name that encapsulates the record label as well as the musical collective of musicians, rappers and vocalists has long served as the labour of love for Dumhi founder and producer, Haj.  The Philadelphia/New Jersey-based label have consistently released an incredible variety of thoughtful and imaginative releases that range from the neo-soul-inspired stylings of Fermented Spirits to engaging hip-hop releases by Reef the Lost Cauze and Ethel Cee.

Beyond these opportunities to connect with like-minded artists and afford them a platform for their own artistry, the label is very much a glorious playground for Haj to continually demonstrate his varied and masterful production chops.  Through a variety of beat tape styled projects that typically embrace a broad selection of themes - from the ambitious and brilliant 'Shanti's Rebuttal' which sought inspiration from "70's thriller movies from India, China and Europe" to the intoxicating energy of 'Teriyaki Hairpiece' which is profoundly described on Bandcamp as "15 years of assembling noise" - Haj's boundless vision is only limited by the scope of his own imagination.

The release of 'Uncle Miles' now seeks to extend Haj's limits to an even greater musical plateau - with the majority of his productions to date revolving around the art of meticulous and skilful sampling, the compositions for 'Uncle Miles' mark a turning point as the music stems from more live instrumentation with Haj at the helm along with friends Jason LoVullo and Margel Overton making appearances on bass and keys respectively.  

The compilation features an exciting array of friends and label affiliates with highlights including rapper Terrence Wood who appears on the soul-infused 'Blood', the neo-soul gem 'Honey' that features vocalists Belli and Michele QJ alongside rapper Ethel Cee is a strong contribution as is the return of Fermented Spirits for the glorious 'Slide'.  Backed by an excellent and intimate video, the Fermented Spirits duo which comprises Haj partnering with singer-songwriter Michele QJ deliver one of the year's best songs whetting appetites for a follow-up to the 'Like Minds' deluxe edition released in 2020.  Theirs is genuinely a pairing that generates a distinctive magic and 'Uncle Miles' is all the better for it.

'Uncle Miles' is indicative of a label that is built around an unwavering passion and desire to create.  With some incredible releases to their name, the new EP serves as both an awesome introduction for new listeners to Dumhi as much as a fantastic project for long-time fans of the label.

We were thrilled to talk to Haj about the latest 'Uncle Miles' EP, his move as a producer towards more live instrumentation and how he navigates the challenges of running an independent label in today's digital realm - all in the Blue-in-Green:PODCAST #116...

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