Peruvian artist Kam Tambini is the man behind this project. Originally from Lima, Tambini now resides in New York where he is one-third of the experimental trio Glass Gang.
He’s ventured into solo territory and has just unveiled his debut eponymous EP under the name Tambino.
The five songs have Tambini singing bilingually over an eclectic mix of genres. Labelled as technocumbia, the music fuses electronic instrumentation with cumbia, a genre and dance from Columbia. Additions of shoegaze and dembow (a Jamaican musical rhythm associated with reggaeton) complete his sound.
It’s easy to connect with Tambini when within the first minute of the EP we hear him singing, “It’s alright that we’re all fucked up.” A very human sentiment to lead off a set of songs that bring you into his world, while reflecting a bit of your own world back.
The line itself comes from the lead single, “Blonde Undone.” A love song of sorts, it’s split between English and Spanish and has Tambini professing his love for his “blonde undone” and pushing other bleak realities to the side.
The song flows seamlessly into “Shadow.” The track is a highlight of his downtempo DIY dream-pop sound with his shoegaze flare showcasing some Strokes-esque guitar licks. He has an almost haunting vocal presence and there’s a sense of loss when he sings, “I can’t feel your shadow.”
When you get to “/ Feeling,” it becomes clear that this is more than just five songs. This is a complete musical experience that is most definitely best heard as one entire package. “/ Feeling” actually works as an outro to “Shadow” rather than a full song. It comes in under 90 seconds and in that short time, it creates the most beautiful atmosphere felt within the EP.
“I don’t know what I’m feeling/I don’t want your opinion/Sitting down with the children/Not our fault.”
For the first time, we get a fade-out instead of a direct transition as we move into “5am Spirit,” but the continuity of the EP is unaffected. While a full-length track, it also has a bit of an interlude feeling to it. It’s nearly void of percussion and tends to float along lightly plucked strings as Tambini sounds his most forlorn. It’s a lonely song and the vacant atmosphere completes the mood.
One last flawless transition and we’re brought to the closer and second single, “El Amanecer.” Sung almost entirely in Spanish, “El Amanecer” (translates to “the dawn” in English) is about feeling disconnected in the middle of it all. A sentimental track that brings the EP to a thoughtful conclusion.