Happy quarantined Easter Sunday everyone! Hope you’re all keeping healthy and sane. This week there have been some brilliant releases I’m excited to delve into, so without further ado, let’s go!
Freakish, sensual and profoundly cathartic, Yves Tumor’s new project Heaven to a Tortured Mind might already be a contender for album of the year
Heaven to a Tortured Mind is without a doubt Yves Tumor’s most complete work to date. It’s a freakish, sensual and cathartic release that spans beyond genre, defying categorisation and pushing the boundaries of what music can sound like in this new decade. It’s a profound and moving body of work that I will undoubtedly be replaying throughout the year, and I hope he continues to strive musically wherever he is, because a talent like his is rarely found today. Read more
It Is What It Is is Thundercat’s most defined album to date, with an ethereal, atmospheric quality that sounds beautiful and incredibly produced
Overall, It Is What It Is is Thundercat’s most defined album to date, with an ethereal, atmospheric quality that sounds beautiful and incredibly produced. It’s a personal and emotive project that captures Thundercat’s vulnerabilities and sense of humour perfectly. It’s a great project and I’m looking forward to seeing him continue to shine this year. Read more
Pink Siifu’s NEGRO is a muse of diverse and scattered thoughts, with samples and poems dedicated to shedding light on the complexity and true beauty of black culture and identity
It’s a stunning, soulful yet menacing album that takes sonic cues from bands like Show Me The Body and Death Grips, while incorporating the sonic beauty and mysticism of someone like Sun Ra or Ras G. It’s a muse of diverse and scattered thoughts, with samples and poems dedicated to shedding light on the complexity and true beauty of black culture and identity, while creating a pulsating and truly unsettling sonic experience that rattled me from start to finish. NEGRO is a masterpiece, and Pink Siifu has elevated himself not only musically, but spiritually through this album. Read more
Lastnamedavid – kinnor
California-based musician, interviewer and all around talented creative Lastnamedavid has released a short 14-minute EP titled kinnor. It plays as one track and features crazy, atmospheric production driven by synths, horn sections and a hard-hitting beat. It’s a beautiful, melodic record that showcases his talents as a beatmaker. We get looped soul samples and gorgeous piano keys too, elevating the track’s aura beautifully throughout. It’s a terrific release, and I’m hoping he releases more music soon. And if you’re reading this, I’m a massive fan of Small Tlk! Subscribe to his YouTube channel here.
Blaque Dynamite – Time Out
LA-based jazz talent Blaque Dynamite has released a stellar new album titled Time Out. Primarily a drummer, this album features some incredible arrangements that bring crazy rhythms and grooves throughout the 12 tracks on this beautiful project. His vocal performance throughout is soothing and soulful, while percussion and subtle horn sections throughout the album make it an engaging and funky listen. Tracks like “From The Other Day” and “I Wanna Be More” are highlights for me, with gorgeous and ephemeral compositions that sound emotive and poignant. The rhythmic beauty on tracks like “Superman” featuring Shaun Martin and “OMW” featuring Swarvy are incredible too. Overall it’s an inspiring, beautiful and mesmerising project and one you should definitely check out.
tony tone x argov – heal
As far as producers go, argov might me one of my favourites working today. His incredible soul sampling beats can be found all over heal, a brand new collaborative project with Texas rapper tony tone. Over 6 tracks, they are able to create a stunningly soulful project full of incredible ethereal sounds and introspective, clever raps that bring such an infectious and necessary energy throughout. The chemistry between both musicians is perfect, as tony yone is able to navigate his raps through colourful production, and is definitely a project worth checking out and supporting!
Kari Faux – Lowkey Superstar
Little Rock, Arkansas rapper Kari Faux has been among my favourite upcoming musicians in recent years. 2019’s Cry 4 Help was a terrific EP that showed me her growth not only as an emcee but as a songwriter too. Lowkey Superstar is her new project, with 8 tracks of colourful production coupled with witty, introspective and personal raps. Sonically the project varies from hard-hitting and eerie on tracks like “While God Was Sleepin’…” and “StickUp!” to bubbly and more animated on tracks like “Actors, Rappers & Wrestlers” and “Freakin’ n’ ballin.” She sounds hungry on “Look At That” and “Chattin’ shit,” closing the album/mixtape with a bang. It’s a project I highly recommend you check out and support because Kari Faux is the future.
Tenderlonious – AFTER THE STORM
London-based flutist and overall talented musician Tenderlonious has released a pretty fantastic new EP titled AFTER THE STORM. With house grooves and beautiful synths and flute solos throughout, he is able to capture a summer-like atmosphere with the compositions throughout the 4 tracks, making it a concise and cohesive project. The synth and drum-led grooves on “AFTER THE STORM” and “D LOW” are brilliant, while the flute-led grooves of “G FLEX” are terrific too. “BROKEN HEARTS CLUB” closes the album out with an infectious and funky groove. Overall it’s a great new project from one of London’s most talented and respected musicians. Go support!
Ben Hauke – Nightwork EP
South East London-based producer Ben Hauke has released a fantastic new EP titled Nightwork. I’ve been a fan of his engaging and hard-hitting sound and this project is no different. With rhythmic basslines and engaging beats throughout its 4 tracks, he is able to bring a sound that sounds soulful and refined. Joe Armon-Jones and Unkle Lemz bring their own talents to this project as well. It’s a short but sweet EP and I hope to hear more from Ben Hauke soon. Go support!
Jake Milliner – Yellow Seven / Flawless Failures (Singles)
London-based producer Jake Milliner has come through with two brand new singles titled “Yellow Seven” and “Flawless Failures.” His drums have always been something I’ve admired, and both tracks feature some heavy, funky grooves. “Yellow Seven” contains some smooth synths and subtle guitar leads, while the heaviness of the drums and bassline on “Flawless Failures” makes me wanna break my damn neck. Jake’s ability to create timeless, flawless boom-bap production is what’s gonna make him a legend in the future, I’m telling you this already. Go support!
Demae – Stages + Changes demo (Single)
London-based singer Demae has come through with a beautiful new track titled “Stages + Changes.” She has one of the most angelic and soulful voices in the UK, and this track is really pure and beautiful. The opening minute and a half is produced by the talented Eun, who brings brilliant, moody and reflective guitar leads, while the rest of the track is produced by the talented Jake Milliner. The track is smooth, with wonky synths and a pulsating beat that gives Demae the opportunity to talk about changes she’s had to face and things she’s had to overcome. It’s a reflective track with a smooth and silky beat.
Yves Tumor – Gospel For A New Century (Heaven To A Tortured Mind)
Yves Tumor – Dream Palette (Heaven To A Tortured Mind)
Zeroh – The Lord & Nature (Single)
Blaque Dynamite – Superman ft Shaun Martin (Time Out)
Lastnamedavid – Take 1 (Kinnor)
Quelle Chris & Chris Keys – Sacred Safe ft Merril Garbus, Cavalier & Homeboy Sandman (Single)
Ivan Ave – Hope/Nope ft Sasac (Single)
Caleb Giles – My Way (Single)
Kari Faux – StickUp! (Lowkey Superstar)
Demae – Stages + Changes (Single)
Tenderlonious – G FLEX (AFTER THE STORM)
Ben Hauke – Nightwork ft Joe Armon-Jones (Nightwork EP)
Thundercat – Interstellar Love (It Is What It Is)
Thundercat – Fair Chance ft Ty Dolla $ign & Lil B (It Is What It Is)
Thundercat – It Is What It Is ft Pedro Martins (It Is What It Is)