*2018 Album of the Year*
London-based production duo Blue Lab Beats are one of the most exciting groups to come out of London in recent years. Consisting of NK-OK and Mr DM, the incredibly talented due have been making music as Blue Lab Beats for a couple of years now. Having met at a weekend arts club, they met each other through their love of music and subsequently started recording music at the now infamous Blue Lab Studios. They released Freedom EP in 2017, which featured some of the songs featured on their debut album, and gave a glimpse into their adventurous and fresh sound. The chemistry between the two artists feels so authentic and mature, it feels like they have known each other since birth.
This is more prevalent than ever on their debut album, Xover. Spanning 16 tracks, the project is dense musically, with diversity in sound which is brought partly by the impressive collaborators on this album. Talents like Nubya Garcia, Moses Boyd, Melo-Zed, Kojey Radical, Kaidi Akinnibi and Daniel Taylor amongst others grace the album with additional vocal performances, percussion, horn additions and overall vibes. Standout tracks include “Run Away” with Kaidi Akinnibi with its frantic rhythms that hypnotize the soul with its infectious grooves, “Pineapple” with Moses Boyd and Nérija, a track with Latin vibes and a beautifully memorable melody, and “Outro” with Daniel Taylor, a perfect way to end a project – with a slow but moving funk inspired closer.
NK-OK and Mr DM really exceed all expectations on their debut album, crafting and curating the perfect soundtrack for the music scene in London. Soulful, jazzy and contemporary in sound, this album ticks all the right boxes. The experimental and often improvisational tone of the album through incredible instrumental jams makes it a memorable experience. A big shoutout to Blue Lab Beats for releasing this gem.
You can stream Blue Lab Beats’ debut album Xover via Spotify below, but make sure to buy this album as well. The guys deserve all the shine in the world for this project.