Happy Sunday everyone, hope you’re all keeping healthy and safe! Some of this week’s releases are incredible, with more scheduled music to come, so without further ado, I’ll get straight into it. Don’t forget to support!
The claustrophobic yet liberating world of Zeroh’s BLQLYTE makes it an album to remember
Zeroh defies genre or categorisation. For the last decade or so, the LA-based artist has released some of the most innovative electronic and psychedelic music I’ve ever had the pleasure if listening to. From the 2013 projects Bred: A Dedication and Dead: A Bredication to his warped out 2016 album Tinnitus, the creative polymath has stunned me on every occasion, and this time around is no different. BLQLYTE is an album that paints Zeroh’s growth and musical metamorphosis over a span of about 6 years, and the results are truly stunning. Warped-out, psychedelic, soulful and mind-bending, he is able to create a cacophonous and cathartic body of work that represents the extent of his artistry and spiritual existence. Read more
Blissful, textured and beautifully contemplative: Quelle Chris & Chris Keys release a stunning masterpiece with Innocent Country 2
Innocent Country 2 is a blissful listening experience. Quelle Chris and Chris Keys have released an incredibly lush, layered and textured album with contemplative, introspective and inspiring raps from Quelle and the plethora of incredible features throughout. It is the embodiment of pure spiritual energy, with uplifting and ethereal sounds that capture so much soul and beauty that it fills me with joy and genuine feelings of happiness and serenity. Read more
Ivan Ave – Double Goodbyes
Oslo-based musician Ivan Ave has released his highly anticipated new album titled Double Goodbyes. Having released some of my favourite albums of the last few years in Helping Hands (2016) and Every Eye (2017), I was quite excited to hear new music from the talented artist. As expected, the album brings some soothing and soulful sounds, with melodic singing and intricate rapping. The album is produced by a plethora of talented musicians such as Mndsgn, Devin Morrison, Clever Austin, Byron The Aquarius and Kiefer among others. Tracks like “Triple Double Love” and “Guest List Etiquette” with Joyce Wrice are focused more heavily on melodic singing, while cuts like “Hope/Nope” featuring Sasac and “Dooblé’s Doorway” are more hard-hitting in production and show a more focused rapping quality to the music. Ivan Ave comes through with another great project, and I’m always looking forward to anything else he has coming up.
lojii & Swarvy – DUE RENT [Blends]
2017’s collaborative album DUE RENT between rapper lojii and producer Swarvy was among my favourite projects of that year. The dark yet soulful production was coupled by lojii’s incredible lyricism, and made for an engaging listen. They have now released a remix album of sorts, done in the form of Swarvy’s legendary [Blends] series. This means that the beats on the project sound punchier, funkier and even more soulful than before. Personally, because I’m such a fan of Swarvy’s remix series, I was psyched to hear they were releasing a new version of an album I already love. The funky, bass-heavy production throughout is incredible, and lojii perfectly fits the idiosyncratic and funk-driven tone of this project. Worth a listen for sure!
ANKHLEJOHN – The Face of Jason
DC rapper ANKHLEJOHN has come through with his highly anticipated new album The Face of Jason. With eerie, hard-hitting and dusty production, this album sounds dark and unassuming, even horror-like. ANKHLEJOHN’s intricate wordplay and lyricism complements the tone of this album perfectly, capturing a grit and uneasy energy that sounds captivating over its 13 tracks. Tracks like “Insomniac” and “Ksubi Raps” sound menacing, while the Fly Anakin-assisted “Count Dracula” has insane amounts of energy and personality that perfectly captures the tone of the album. The Face of Jason is a thrilling body of work that is definitely worth checking out.
Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes – What Kinda Music
London-based musicians Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes have finally released their highly anticipated collaborative album titled What Kinda Music. It’s an incredibly rhythmic and drum-focused record, which is obviously testament to Yussef Dayes’ talents as a drummer. The guitar-driven melodies and vocal performances from Tom Misch are also incredible, as he is able to bring an intense and angelic vibe throughout the album. There are more groovy and hard-hitting moments such as on “I Did It For You” and “Lift Off” featuring Rocco Palladino. The change in tempo between tracks makes for an engaging and interesting listen. Even Freddie Gibbs appears on “Nightrider,” which is a surprise, and I’m still puzzled whether his feature works. But overall, the mixture between the hard-hitting drums and the soul/pop oriented melodies make What Kinda Music a pretty fun and upbeat listen.
The Loosies Project – Loosies Vol.1
The Loosies Project is a collaborative effort between some of the most talented upcoming artists from the UK. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, they have decided to form a collective to continue releasing music together as a community, which is already inspiring. The talented artists involved include the following: DIPS, Ayeisha Raquel, Richie Saps, Eklipse, Josette Joseph, Tinyman, Caleb Femi, Kin Kai, LO-WU, Cay Caleb, Ella Frank, SueLily, Shumba Maasai, Udo, Seb Chedick, Catherine Sera, Dualeh Oke, Scott Xylo, Xolomon, Lysser, Rei Sky, Kieron Boothe, Gee Free, Temesgen Samuel, Joey Mexx, Lex Amor, R-Kay, Intalekt and Dani Sofiya. If I’ve missed your name I apologise, it’s all love! Loosies Vol.1 is the first half of their new project, with the second part coming out on Monday. For the most part, this is a soulful, melodic collection of tracks, with more of an emphasis on sung performances. Tracks like “Feel It,” by Ayeisha Raquel and Tinyman are gorgeous, while the mystical tone of the Scott Xylo-produced “Feel” has gorgeous vocals from Catherine Sera. The most surprising track is DIPS’ “Quarantine Diaries,” who produced a soulful and delicate track that completely caught me off guard in the best possible way. I didn’t know he had it in him, especially considering his solo albums. To everyone involved, much love, all of you are doing bits and I always wish you all all the success in the world.
K-Nite 13 – Hot Garbage
London-based producer K-Nite 13 has come through with a brand new album titled Hot Garbage. With incredible boom-bap production throughout, he is able to capture a vintage, ethereal and head-nod heavy vibe that is enriched by some of the features throughout. Koncept Jack$on, Al.Divino, Homeboy Sandman and Juga-Naut appear throughout the album, among others, and the intricate raps mixed with the soulful and hard-hitting production throughout the 14 tracks on this album make it worth listening to.
Ohbliv – Spirit Medicine B Sides
Richmond, Virginia producing legend Ohbliv comes through with a new collection of tracks that act like B Sides to his amazing EP Spirit Medicine (a project I actually forgot to review, but is equally beautiful, soulful and funky like the rest of his music). With groovy basslines and punchy drumming throughout, these 7 tracks are incredible and just continue showcasing how versatile and eclectic this man is as a producer and overall artist. Definitely worth checking this project out.
elijah – Fragments, 2013
London-based creative polymath elijah aka Fleece Files has come through with a brand new project titled Fragments, 2013. It’s a muse of electronic experiments, with sweet vocal performances and a beautiful, angelic aura throughout its 4 tracks. “Autumn/Winter Blues” is a gorgeous, rhythmic opener, with elijah providing beautiful vocals over a subtle piano melody. “Scale Away” and “Let Me In” are gorgeous, slow-paced R&B gems with infectious electronic melodies that perfectly capture his incredible vocal range, while the heavier tone on “Keep (Ephemeral)” is incredible too. Overall, it’s a great project and one you should definitely support!
Earl Sweatshirt – WHOLE WORLD ft Maxo (Single)
Earl Sweatshirt is back with his first official release since FEET OF CLAY EP released last year. It’s produced by Alchemist and features Maxo, whose 2019 album LIL BIG MAN was among my favourite releases of that year. The single is titled “WHOLE WORLD” and features a dark yet melodic beat, as both rappers talk about their anxieties and mental states in a potent and clever way. I’ve still got a lot to digest lyrically, but this track is already a great taster for future music from both talented artists. And Alchemist stays killing it as always.
Quelle Chris & Chris Keys – Sacred Safe ft Merrill Garbus, Cavalier & Homeboy Sandman (Innocent Country 2)
Quelle Chris & Chris Keys – Mirage ft Earl Sweatshirt, Denmark Vessey, Merrill Garbus & Big Sen (Innocent Country 2)
Quelle Chris & Chris Keys – Make It Better ft Starr Busby (Innocent Country 2)
Ivan Ave – Phone Won’t Charge (Double Goodbyes)
Isaiah Rashad – Why Worry (Single)
lojii & Swarvy – Dukkits (Blend) (DUE RENT [Blends])
ANKHLEJOHN – The Nebula (The Face of Jason)
Zeroh – Hydro (BLQLYTE)
Zeroh – Mudblood (BLQLYTE)
Zeroh – Glory Drip (BLQLYTE)
Earl Sweatshirt – WHOLE WORLD ft Maxo (Single)
Nick Hakim – CRUMPY (Single)
Oscar Jerome – Your Saint ft Brother Portrait (Single)
Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes – Lift Off (What Kinda Music)
Octavian – Poison ft Take A Daytrip, Obongjayar & Santi (Single)
James Blake – You’re Too Precious (Single)
Jamie xx – Idontknow (Single)