Dust Devil
3XL / Experiences Ltd
Edition of 500 copies, gatefold sleeve
Incl. VAT plus shipping / Orders from outside the EU are exempt from VAT
1Untitled (with Erika de Casier)3:42
2CO (Sugar Hiccup) (with Yves B Golden)4:28
3Pretty Girl 4K Drone (with Ben Bondy)4:32
4Day Drifter (with Perila)3:57
5Thinking of Incky (with Pontiac Streator)4:14
6Couch Angel (with Arad Acid and Huerco S)7:16
7Lasagna Box (Ashley s Theme) (with Ulla)3:48
8Amnis (with Desiree Monique and Florian TM Zeisig)8:37
9Ambrosia (with NAP)6:30
10Olivia Prime (with Jason Graf)5:25
11Blueberry Ice (with PVAS and Shy)5:47
12Milau (with Zoe Darsee)5:44
13Dust Devil (with Shy)3:02
14Slipstream (with NM)6:05

Formerly known as exael, baemi channels a broad spectrum of influences on ‘Dust Devil’. Billed as a “whirlwind road movie”, it sums up naemi’s last few years as a central node in Berlin’s amorphous network of fringe producers, poets and artists. While the city might still be best known for its litany of cavernous, greyscale tourist dungeons, in the back rooms and all-night cafes there’s been a perceptible counter; a loose faction of like-minded outsiders who have furrowed out a space where hypnagogic sounds, muzzy ‘90s pop, trip-hop, bass music and analgesic rap have slowly morphed into something new. Sounds that felt previously anathema to the Berlin experience have coalesced into a warm wave of psychedelic, healing romance, a phenomenon that anchors ‘Dust Devil’.

The album opens with an untitled cut featuring none other than 4AD superstar Erika de Casier, who delivers a lovestruck vocal that smears into baemi’s humid ambience. The mood is distinctive, somewhere between Cocteau Twins and Harold Budd’s timeless ‘The Moon and the Melodies’ and the kind of vulnerable early ‘00s R&B that de Casier has made her own. baemi continues the thought on ‘CO (Sugar Hiccup)’, referencing the Cocteaus’ 1983 classic and granulating soft-hearted, shimmering guitars that rumble beneath a stark poem from artist, writer and DJ Yves B. Golden.

The expansive vista fully manifests on ‘Day Drifter’, layering sparse guitar riffs below Perila’s mercurial vocals - the most direct and powerful thing we’ve heard from her yet - in a sort of classic DIY pop mode that appears like a mirage wrung with almost-familiar earworms and esoteric turns. Pontiac Streator joins hands with naemi on ‘Thinking of Incky’, a delirious shimmer of ‘Head Over Heels’ guitars and itchy, dissociated rhythmic flutters, while Huerco S. and Arad Acid help aerate ‘Couch Angel’ into effervescent shoegaze/trip-hop floss, curving MBV-strength judders and gravelly breaks around hallucinatory, choral vocals. naemi leans further into the jazzy, downtempo mood on ‘Ambrosia’, connecting with NAP (aka Daniel Rincon) who mouths gentle words over naemi’s slow-mo drums and foggy electric piano. Then, on the title track, 3XL boss Shy (aka Special Guest DJ) supports naemi with a précis of everything we’ve heard, mangling eerie atmospherics with glistening, crepuscular guitars.

Yearning and painstakingly deliberate, ‘Dust Devil’ is a softly whispered rumination that freezes a moment in time and traps its knotted emotions in the aether. It’s an album that acknowledges its influences, but uses them to tarmac a fresh narrative, one that hasn’t been concluded quite yet, stretching endlessly into the open skyline.