Kan Wakan’s Phantasmagoria series evolve and it’s time for the second leg of the sonic journey designed by Bulgarian-born, LA-raised producer and multi-instrumentalist. The Fader describes his sound as “the borders of trip-hop, acoustic balladry, and psychedelia” and he’s constantly tempting the listener to abandon the bottomless scroll for a delicate, charming slow burn.
A few days ago we’ve got to experience Phantasmagoria Vol. 2 and the album is nothing short than greatness. Filled with great vocalist features (Jessica Childress, SAÍGO and Alexander Vincent) the artist describes it as “a nod to the ancient form of theatre which utilizes magic lanterns to project stories of the bizarre and the supernatural.” Something one could pick very quickly after the album starts playing.
I’ve chosen to highlight one with one of my favourite singers SAÍGO known for his work with other local artists like DAYO and Nocktern. “On Your Shoulders”, besides a flawless vocal performance, is (in my humble opinion) the most captivating instrumental on the album, at least after listening to it 4-5 times in-full. I love the beautifully sluggish drums and how they sound. The sound is absolutely impeccable, and the flute towards the end… cherry on the top. I was torn between “On Your Shoulders” and “Gestalt”, so definitely don’t sleep on that one either.
I had the possibility to briefly chat with Gueorgi on a few topics, so we get shed more light on the recording process and the album itself.
Hows Vol 2 different than Vol 1, describe in a sentence
G: It’s was definitely a new experience writing music over email and zoom calls.. sending each other files and not having that person to person contact certainly affects the dynamics of the end result. The songwriting, arranging and production components all happened simultaneously and/or in no particular order…and they’d often inform one another, which gave way to new ideas and ways of making music that I wasn’t accustomed to before.. everything felt more free flowing and intuitive because I felt less distracted, more focused.
I also feel like I had more time to fully realize the project due to what’s been happening over the past couple of years , and for me this is a crucial part of the process as things reveal themselves more true over time and sometimes you just don’t know if what you’re excited about in the moment is as good as you once thought. I feel like the new album sonically is bit more refined and concise, with a bolder stance on themes that were only mildly suggested upon in the last album.
If you could choose an ideal setting in which your fans should experience the album what would that be
G: At the cinema.
What’s next for Kan Wakan?
G: I’m gearing up for some spring US shows, and then coming back to Europe in the summer for the same. I’m hoping I will get the chance to present the album live in Bulgaria. For now I have organized an album listening event with a visual accompaniment, projection mapping show by Polina Gerasimova, which will take place in Sofia Live Club on November, 29th.
Has living in Bulgaria for the most part of the last year impacted the album?
G: The majority of this new album was actually made in LA. I was isolated in my Koreatown apartment for several weeks, and after having developed a somewhat workable daytime routine between my bedroom and living room studio, I managed to trick myself into making some music. The album was then finished in Bulgaria and in many ways, to me it’s a ‘coming back to the roots’. There’s a rich variety of harmonic nuances native to Bulgarian folklore music which have been integral to the arrangements.
Listen to the full Phantasmagoria Vol. 2 below or on all major platforms here.
Phantasmagoria Vol 3 is also in the works, but for now we have quite a lot of exploration to do on the beautiful new puzzle piece that Vol 2 is.