ABOUT Imaad Wasif
Wasif was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada but was raised in Southern California. He began playing music in high school and formed his first band lowercase in 1994; “a guitar-drums duo that played a weird hybrid of lo-fi pop, post-rock and slo-core.” In 2001, he formed alaska! in addition to joining Lou Barlow’s New Folk Implosion. In 2006, he shifted focus to his solo career. Also during 2006–2007, Wasif played with Yeah Yeah Yeahs for the Show Your Bones world tour playing acoustic guitar, bass and Wurlitzer. He performed his solo work as the supporting act for most shows.
His first self-titled solo album was released in 2006 on Kill Rock Stars. The record featured minimal, acoustic songs with psychedelic influences, reminiscent of Skip Spence’s Oar and Syd Barrett’s Opel, and was recorded by Mark Nevers in Nashville, TN. This record introduced Wasif’s primary lyrical themes; love, madness, transformation, isolation, and spiritual influences, which continue through his subsequent albums.
Wasif’s second album, Strange Hexes, was self-released in 2008. Recorded in Los Angeles by Tom Biller with a new backing band, Two Part Beast, the record was a return to Wasif’s early rock driven compositions. Two Part Beast consists of Adam Garcia on drums and Bobb Bruno on bass. The album is a “tense, trippy collection of songs that become fiercely emotional explorations.” The songs incorporate Eastern modal tunings and drones, influences from the Indian classical music traditions passed on from his father who was a Ghazal singer and harmonium player.
Wasif’s third album, The Voidist, was released in 2009 on Tee Pee Records. Recorded in Los Angeles by Chad Bamford, The Voidist is at once “regal and exuberant. Its unique sonic tapestry is sprinkled with ragas, blues rock, and something totally new that exists at the apex of these varied influences.” The album includes both solo acoustic and full band rock tracks recorded with Two Part Beast plus guests Dale Crover (Melvins) and Greg Burns (Red Sparowes). Wasif has stated in interviews that some of the songs for this album came to him from parallel astral planes and that his androgynous soul enables him to inhabit a range of perspectives. Other influences that Wasif has cited include William Blake, Robert Desnos, Gérard de Nerval, Patti Smith, John Fahey, Don Van Vliet, Vilayat Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, Bismillah Khan and 13th Floor Elevators.
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