Music

Weekly Roundup: 3rd February – 9th February

Happy Sunday everyone, from In Search Of Media HQ in South London. This has been another great, great week in music, I keep repeating this statement every time I post, but it’s true. So without further ado, I wanna get right into it. Love to J Dilla, Forever.


Features

Isaiah Rashad’s delicate and emotionally skeletal debut album is a timeless gem: Cilvia Demo 6 years on

Isaiah Rashad’s raw and unfiltered honesty throughout the 14 tracks on his debut album Cilvia Demo make him one of my favourite artists. The fact that he has released only two albums (along with 2016’s The Sun’s Tirade) and people are begging him to release more music just comes to show how relevant he still is to the genre, and how personal his music is to his fans. Read more


Releases

Navy Blue – Àdá Irin

I’m debating whether or not to dedicate an entire article to this project, because let me tell you, it’s a masterpiece. Navy Blue aka Sage Elsesser has come through with a brand new full-length album titled Àdá Irin. It’s an album in memory of my grandfather Madison T Shockley, and it’s such a personal and revealing listen, as he talks openly about his mental health, growth and deeper racial issues that he lives through. The production, handled by Navy Blue, Preservation and Rago Foot, is absolutely gorgeous, bringing soulful chops, subtle but poignant drumming and an ethereal quality that brings a cinematic soundscape. On “Simultaneously Bleeding” he passionately professes “My spirit can’t be touched,” while bringing a confident and assuring verse on his state of mind over gorgeous piano loops that bring so much soul to the track. Ka’s feature on “In God’s Hands” is absolutely stunning, with intricate wordplay and incredible imagery throughout, dropping knowledge with references to history and mythology. It brings new life to the track and the album as a whole, and is a collaboration I never knew would happen, but I’m so glad it did. Àdá Irin is an incredible album that needs all the recognition it could get.

Boldy James & Alchemist – The Price of Tea in China

Detroit rapper Boldy James comes through with an incredible collaborative album with legendary producer Alchemist titled The Price of Tea In China. It’s a gloomy and somewhat eerie project orchestrated by Alchemist’s murky, soulful and atmospheric beats. Boldy James on the other hand, brings grit and incredible lyricism throughout the 12 tracks. Features include Vince Staples, Benny The Butcher, Freddie Gibbs and Evidence, who all absolutely kill it. Tracks like “Run-Ins” and “S.N.O.R.T.” showcase his skills as a storyteller, as he talks about street life and the dangers and uncertainties that come with it. Highlights however include “Giant Slide” and “Phone Bill.” Both tracks showcase Boldy James’ menacing flow and impressive lyricism, all over two of my favourite Alchemist beats on here. A great album with great replay value that will take some more time to digest.

Skunkz – SKUNKZ FT SKUNKZ

Boston-based artist Skunkz has released a brand new project titled SKUNKZ FT SKUNKZ. It’s the first time I’ve come across the talented wordsmith and I’m immediately impressed by his intricate wordplay and colourful verses, which complement his animated and hard-hitting production throughout the 15 tracks. The fact that he shaped the sound of this project with synth-heavy, melodic and looped beats makes this even more impressive, and I can’t wait to hear what’s next for this great musician.

Obongjayar – Which Way Is Forward?

Nigerian-born and London-based artist Obongjayar has come through with his most complete body of work to date titled Which Way Is Forward? The 7-track EP is full of incredibly rhythmic and textured instrumentation, and a growling, soulful and incredibly moving vocal performance from the talented singer. The incredible Afrobeat inspired soundscape features a lot of incredible horn sections, percussion and dance-fuelled energy that’s just infectious. It’s a great album from a talented artist at the peak of his creativity.

Khruangbin & Leon Bridges – Texas Sun

Texas-based musicians Khruangbin and Leon Bridges come through with a soulful, bluesy new EP titled Texas Sun dedicated to their state. It features some psychedelic rhythms from Khruangbin and a beautiful, melodic and utterly soothing vocal performance from Leon Bridges throughout the 4 tracks. Their chemistry is incredible, and I really hope we can get a more full-length project soon.

Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats – UNLOCKED

Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats aka Tha Police, have come through with what I can only describe as an absolute banger. The slapping, boom-bap beats on UNLOCKED are Kenny’s best in my opinion, with quirky synths and samples throughout that add such colour and personality to the soundscape. Denzel Curry on the other hand spits with such confidence and assertion that it’s just mesmerizing seeing him on the mic. Tracks like “Take_it_Back_v2” and “So.Incredible.pkg” bring such manic energy to the table, with creative and thumping beats, as well as menacing verses that bring animation to Denzel’s comic and anime influence for his stories. And the video? It’s a damn genius comic TV show episode. A truly fantastic concept. It’s an absolute slapper and I can’t wait to hear more from these two heavyweights.

Jay Daniel – SSD

Detroit house/hip-hop producer Jay Daniel has released a stellar new 4-track EP titled SSD. With glossy, thick synths and an incredible groove throughout, this is a groovy, funky and smooth listen. It’s got hard-hitting drums on the first two tracks, “Muse” and “Solo,” while “Dew” and “Cherry” are much pretty much house tracks, as their synth and bass-heavy sounds bring a dynamic and funny rhythm to the energy of the EP. With each project, Jay Daniel showcases exactly why he is one of the most exciting producers working today.

Lidly – Gris

Tokyo-based producer Lidly has come through with a beautifully melodic and incredibly soulful new beat tape titled Gris. The Japanese producer has become one of my favourite beatmakers, as he’s able to chop up and sample these sounds so well. He brings synths, piano keys and gorgeous melodies to his overall sound, and it’s great to see him thrive musically too. I hope there’s a lot more to come from this talented musician!

Steve Spacek – Houses

Legendary UK artist Steve Spacek has released a stellar new album titled Houses. He has always impressed me with his glitchy, experimental electronic compositions. The tracks on here are warped in warm soulf, with intricate basslines and an infectious groove that continues to pulsate throughout its lengthy 1h15 runtime. I hope he continues to release gems like this in the future, as this project brilliantly embodies his raw and ethereal aesthetic.

Quelle Chris & Chris Keys – Sudden Death (Single)

Detroit based artist Quelle Chris comes through with a new single titled “Sudden Death” along with Californian producer Chris Keys. It’s a textured track, with piano keys and a thick bassline shaping the groove of the track. Quelle Chris’ singing throughout is subtle but gives an oddly warm vibe that’s just incredibly infectious the more you listen to him. It’s colourful, vibe-heavy track and I can’t wait for more amazing music from these two.

King Krule – Alone, Omen 3 (Single)

King Krule is back with a new single and music video titled “Alone, Omen 3.” The incredibly soulful yet fuzzy guitars perfectly complement King Krule’s low registered vocals. The warm bassline is infectious and groovy, while still maintaining a colder, naked vibe to it. His new album Man Alive! is set to be released on the 21st February.


Weekly Playlist

Tracklist
Boldy James & Alchemist – Giant Slide (The Price of Tea in China)
lojii – u callin’ me ft Akeema-Zane, Pink Siifu & Swarvy (lo&behold)
Quelle Chris & Chris Keys – Sudden Death (Single)
Obongjayar – Dreaming in Transit (Which Way is Forward?)
King Krule – Alone, Omen 3 (Single)
Slum Village – Things U Do – Remix (Fan-Tas-Tic, Vol.1)
J Dilla – Two Can Win (Donuts)
J Dilla – ULove (Donuts)
The Pharcyde – Drop (Labcabincalifornia)
Lidly – Stay ho You Are (Gris)
Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats – Take_it_Back_v2 (UNLOCKED)
Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats – So.Incredible.pkg (UNLOCKED)
Khruangbin & Leon Bridges – Conversion (Texas Sun)
Jay Daniel – Solo (SSD)
Steve Spacek – Waiting 4 U (Houses)


Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by. I run In Search Of Media with the aim of giving a platform to independent beatmakers, rappers and talented musicians. I also hope to make this a home for music discovery, interesting film analysis, exhibition reviews and other interesting content for all of you guys to dive in to. I hope to start a podcast and documentary-style project soon. If you're looking to be a part of this creative project, please go to the contact page and drop me an email, or connect via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I also write for 'Music Is My Sanctuary.' Thanks 🙏

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