Hey everyone, hope you’re all safe and healthy still! Been an interesting week on my end, but great music still keeps coming, so a lot to dive into. Without further ado, here’s this week’s music roundup!
Grief, unimaginable pain and resilience – Tricky’s Fall To Pieces is his most personal and heart-wrenching album to date
His new album Fall to Pieces however, tells a different kind of story. The album carries heavy, heavy feelings of grief and devastating loss after the tragic loss of his daughter Mazy Mina Topley-Bird last year. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain he feels, still to this day, though Fall to Pieces does give us an insight into his raw, emotive feelings on an indescribable loss. With the help of Polish singer Marta Zlakowska and Danish singer Oh Land, he is able to capture the fragility of the human spirit with heart and soul. Losing someone, let alone a child is probably one of the worst feelings in the world. To Tricky’s credit, this album reflects his loss and feelings with an album that is utterly heart-wrenching and incredibly moving. There is a delicate beauty within darkness, and he translates those deep feelings throughout. Love to Tricky again, and go support this album. Read more
Byron the Aquarius – Apron EP
Atlanta-based electronic House musician Byron the Aquarius has released a stellar new project titled Apron EP. I’ve been a fan of the talented artist for a while now, and with each and every release he exceeds expectations. This new project is no exception, as he creates a synth-heavy and dance-centric body of work that is infectious in its energy and soulful in its aura. The incredible live drumming on “Girls Girls Girls” is a definite highlight for me, while the bass-heavy compositions on “Fun Fun Fun” featuring Brandon Banks and “Dr Funk Yo Mind” are funky and incredibly lush and fun to listen to. Another great, great project from one of the most intelligent minds in electronic dance music, so I definitely recommend checking this project out.
Lord Apex & V Don – Supply & Demand
London-based rapper Lord Apex and New York-based producer V Don have come through with a stellar collaborative album titled Supply & Demand. This linkup has been highly anticipated, because both artists are incredibly gifted and talented in what they do. The 11-track project sees Lord Apex speak on life in London, self-growth, weed, anime and other stuff in a compact and cohesive body of work. Tracks like “UK Shit” and “Wise Woke” featuring Willie The Kid are great, and the legend Murs blesses this tape with a stellar verse on “Raw Elegant”. The soulful, synth and eclectic production throughout is so amazing, and Lord Apex’s pen game has improved greatly over the years, sounding poignant and focused throughout. A stellar body of work to definitely support!
Knxwledge – HX.PRT_15
Another month another Knxwledge beat tape. He seems to drop every single week, and it still amazes me to this day how incredibly consistent he is. HX.PRT_15 is a soulful, intricate project in which he samples some r&b classics, over his signature drums and rhythms. Whether it’s the angelic aura of “playanthrslojm_” or the punchy “loveagain.” he is able to keep the same crazy beats throughout, showcasing exactly why he’s one of the greatest independent producers of the last decade. One to support for sure!
11roots – 11ROOTS
Brooklyn-based BROWN_BUDDHA & Ur Maa have come through with a brand new collaborative project as 11roots titled 11ROOTS. They are named after the 11 Laws of Maat and the 11 deities on the Tree of life, which I’ll definitely have to read into more. This is my first introduction to both talented musicians, and I love the incredibly lush and soulful hip-hop both talented artists are able to produce. BROWN_BUDDHA’s beats are intricately produced, with jazzy, soulful soundscapes that give Ur Maa the perfect canvas to rap over. He sounds focused throughout, spitting captivating lyrics about self, spirituality and much more. Tracks like “it was all made up” and “ur on camera” are examples of this, though the whole project is quite special. One to support, and I hope they work collaboratively like this in the future as well.
Monday Night – S.Block Carter
Richmond, Virginia emcee Monday Night has released a stellar new album titled S.Block Carter. The 11 track project is a cohesive and consistent body of work that showcases Monday Night’s incredible lyricism and overall eclectic sound. Production is handled by a plethora of producers including Benji Socrates, Jwizdum, SonMigo, C.R.I.S.T.E.N, Theravada and Saint James. It’s overall soulful and incredibly lush and textured, as Monday Night’s focused and introspective lyricism about his own life sound great over the soulful and crisp production. His presence and flows throughout are phenomenal as well, as he continues to establish himself as one of the most exciting voices in hip-hop today.
anja ngozi – SEROTONIN
Creative London-based polymath anja ngozi has released her debut EP titled SEROTONIN. Familiar with her work through the events and creative projects Síbín Shubz as well as her work with some of my favourite artists right now, I’m excited to see her delve into music. This short 4-track project sees her sample that fantastic conversation between Andre 3000 and Rick Rubin, as she brings synth-heavy, meandering and soulful electronic compositions throughout. The dynamic beat on “forgive yourself/release yourself” is stellar, while “Pleasure, Pain & Me” features a great introspective verse from O the ghost, over a broken-beat that is just crazy to me. “3000 (Instrumental)” ends this project with gorgeous synths, flute and harp compositions as well. It’s a wonderful, reflective body of work, and I hope she continues to push herself musically because this is a really great project!
Shlohmo – Heaven Inc. EP
LA legend Shlohmo has come through with a brand new EP titled Heaven Inc.. The talented producer has been making some of the best, atmospheric and textured electronic music for the past decade, and this new EP just continues that streak of amazing music. The electronic beats and effects throughout are dynamic, with driving and energetic compositions that sound heavy and overwhelming, such as on the title track. The moody and eclectic “Looking at Plants” is another highlight for me, with heavy drumming, synth leads that are melodic and a vibe that brilliantly captures his eclectic style of production. The desolate soundscapes of “Misanthrope” and “Nice & Shiny” are heavy in sound and overpowering. A stellar project from one of the most talented electronic producers working today.
Stephanie Santiago – Theory Of Emotion
South London, British-Colombian r&b musician Stephanie Santiago released this crazy EP back in May, but released in August on Bandcamp, so I’m late to the party but glad to have made it. Theory Of Emotion features 5 tracks of some of the most soulful and intricate r&b and soul music I’ve heard in a while. The production sounds rich, with gorgeous keys and lavish synth leads that bring playful melodies throughout. Stephanie’s vocal performance throughout is simply stunning. Tracks like “We See” are flawless, with saxophone leads that are outstanding and add so much to the sweet and beautiful aura of the track, and Stephanie’s powerful and incredible voice is perfect over it. “Suave” features Colombian singer Lianna, who’s vocals in Spanish bring a sensual feeling to the track. Overall this is a very cohesive and sweet project, and one to definitely support!
Music Yared – Music Yared
Anbessa Gebrehiwot and Haftu Reda are masterful players of krar and masinko, traditional string instruments from Eritrea and Ethiopia. Together with multi-instrumentalist Dale Gorfinkel, they have created a stellar new album to celebrate the Eastern African sound. Music Yared features 5 tracks of some of the most interesting and fascinating music I’ve heard recently. The vocals throughout are fantastic, while the rhythms and the string compositions are stellar as well. Tracks like “Ambassal” and “Kambassal” are examples of these intricate and fascinating compositions, and I hope more people get familiar with this group and kind of music. A great release and something worth checking out!
Tricky – Thinking Of ft Marta (Fall to Pieces)
Tricky – Hate this Pain ft Marta (Fall to Pieces)
Tricky – Fall Please ft Marta (Fall to Pieces)
Byron The Aquarius – A$trotron (Apron EP)
Shlohmo – Misanthrope (Heaven Inc. EP)
KAYTRANADA – Scared To Death (BUBBA)
Mndsgn – Hiking (Breatharian)
Ras G – Black… (Raw Fruit Vol. 5 & 6)
Rago Foot – RF64 (Single)
Lord Apex & V Don – Raw Elegant ft Murs (Supply & Demand)
Homeboy Sandman – Trauma (Single)
Action Bronson – Golden Eye (Single)
Heltah Skeltah – Clan’s, Posse’s, Crew’s & Click’s (Nocturnal)
Stephanie Santiago – We See (Theory of Emotion)
Music Yared – Ambassi (Music Yared)