ALBUM REVIEW: THE AFTER 2 A.M. SESSIONS EP – Ahmed Sirour
by Couch Sessions
The title of Ahmed Sirour’s highly-anticipated debut EP may suggest either one of two things: either you’re supposed to listen to this steamy set of instrumentals after 2 a.m., or that he produced these songs after 2 a.m. I have no problem with believing both, but the truth is that you can put this on as soon as you come home from a long day of work, or when the kids have finally gone to bed and your brain needs to decompress. This is the type of music that will put you in a sexy chill zone, but not like typical chillout music. The multi-talented Brooklyn native, who has produced and co-produced remixes for songs by artists including John Legend & The Roots (“Shine”), J Dilla (“Pause”), Eric Roberson (“Tale of Two” and “Still”), Jill Scott (“Crown Royal”), and Yahzarah (“Love Come Save the Day”), takes a very simplistic approach to melting away our complexities, which allows the listener to simply relax and enjoy what may come.
The six tracks of this EP are sonically coupled into 3 sets: The Romantic, The Erotic, and The Spiritual, sort of like a sonic Karma Sutra experience. A lot of the sounds remind me of interludes that would be found on Janet Jackson or Me’Shell N’Degeocello albums. My favorite tracks are The Hidden Places (part of the Erotic coupling) with its slippery bass, light tambourine taps, and the tension created by sporadic high-pitched synth flourishes, and Love One Another (part of the Spiritual coupling) with its finger snaps, faux-angelic “oohs”, and delicate piano tinkling. The EP is bookended with very pretty piano pieces, so it ends as calmly as it starts. Everything in between is like a chemistry experiment gone right.
I like that this is not overtly sexual music. It’s a soundtrack that lends itself to open interpretation. Without lyrics to distract or suggest, it is up to your (hopefully) vivid imagination to guide the evening (or morning) to where you’d like it to go. So whether you’re in the mood to make babies or pancakes, doing either while listening to this set will cause you to do either more sensually.
Here are a few snippets:
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Click here to purchase a digital copy of the entire EP (which includes bonus tracks unavailable elsewhere).