Hey everyone, hope you’re all doing safe and healthy! It’s been a good week for music – one of my favourite musicians dropped (more on that later) and there have been some fantastic releases all around. Happy listening!
AMYRA’s message, voice, poetic lyricism and utter dedication to the values of self-worth, self-love and Black liberation & freedom is what makes WITNESS a masterpiece
New-York-based artist AMYRA embodies black joy, black expression, black pain and black love so effortlessly throughout her music. Her debut album WITNESS is an incredible amalgamation of everything I just mentioned. A stunning, poetic and mesmeric project that, to me, establishes her as one of the most forward-thinking musicians of this year. The raw power and emotion in it is just so incredible, and when she hits the highest of high notes, my jaw just dropped. It was like that for the most part throughout, but some of the vocal moments are seriously ridiculous. Read more
A poetic review of Lex Amor’s potent Government Tropicana
Lex Amor’s aura as an individual and as an artist has made her one of my favourite artists. Instead of writing a standard review for her incredible new (and debut!) project Government Tropicana, I decided to write a poem celebrating the project. Read it here and go support!
Slauson Malone – Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak)
Slauson Malone’s music is amazing. His 2019 album A Quiet Farewell, 2016-2018 was among my favourites of that year, and his contributions to other artists has made him a versatile and well respected figure in the bubbling independent hip-hop and experimental music scene in New York and the US. His new EP is titled Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak) and acts as a companion piece to his last full length album. With more emphasis on guitar leads and arpeggios, this project is more melodic and raw sonically than anything he has released. “Smile #6 (see page 198 and 158)” is a highlight for me, with an incredibly playful and soulful guitar-led piece, while “THE MESSAGE 3: Blood (see page 39, 179, and Bye)” and “The Wake Pt. 3 & 2 (see page 87, 58, and 48)” are stunning interpolations of my favourite tracks on A Quiet Farewell. It’s a project I highly recommend you check out and support, as Slauson Malone is one the most talented musicians working today.
Claire Reneé – IF I
LA-based artist Claire Reneé has released a stunning new r&b album titled IF I. Produced by TEK.LUN, this project is a dynamic one, with poignant and incredibly lavish production, as well as vocal performance from Claire Reneé that is simply outstanding. The groove and vocals on “Invisible” kick the project off with a bang, while the crazy boom bap sound of “Read My Lips” is hard-hitting and utterly captivating. “Thank You for Love” is a confident and mesmeric track, as she raps and sings effortlessly throughout. Her talents should be celebrated, and I really hope she continues elevating herself further musically!
Foisey – TYT
It’s been a minute since I’ve covered some Foisey music, but the Connecticut producer has kept his consistency, with a concise and rhythmic beat tape titled TYT, with instrumentals that hit hard throughout. He samples a plethora of soulful melodies and hip-hop grooves. “02SHMUNNY” and “04TDKWWK[truulove]” are examples of his soulful yet menacing production, and I hope he continues releasing stellar music like this in the future. Definitely a project to support!
Butcher Brown – #KingButch
Richmond, Virginia-based 5-piece instrumental group Butcher Brown have released a brand new album titled #KingButch. Creating rhythmic and groovy beats throughout with their life band, the group have exceeded expectations yet again with this one. The funky grooves of “Broad Rock” are infectious and make we wanna dance, while the jazzy “Frontline” is excellent, with saxophone and guitar leads creating this gorgeous melody that perfectly captures the playfulness of the group. The drumming and bassline throughout are also incredible. The project is a diverse and eclectic one, as the group showcase their incredible chemistry and musicianship throughout. Tracks like “1992” hit hard, and sound inspiring, with gorgeous guitar and piano leads that capture a beauty and aura that I find so captivating. One to absolutely support!
Mildlife – Automatic
Melbourne-based group Mildlife have come through with a quirky, sonically diverse and eclectic body of work titled Automatic. This is my first introduction to the group, and I was immediately drawn to their synth-heavy, new-wave melodies. It’s an electronic, Krautrock-inspired project with some of the most playful and dance-heavy melodies I’ve heard this month. The opening track “Rare Air” is a playful and incredibly rhythmic track, with synth and guitar melodies that complement the dreamy vocal performance from the lead singer. The title track, “Automatic”, which is also the closer to the album, is an experimental, new-wave odyssey. Thick synth leads, subtle but powerful guitar leads, heavy drumming and a Daft Punk-esque vocal performance that sounds futuristic yet reminiscent of some of the most-forward thinking electronic music of the 80s. A truly fascinating release and one I recommend for sure!
Thijsenterprise – Night Store Beats
Barcelona-based producer Thijsenterprise has released another stellar body of work titled Night Store Beats. The diverse and eclectic musician has released some of the most interesting instrumental music in recent years, and I generally love his use of live instrumentation. Its raw aesthetic is absolutely fantastic, and on his new project, he sounds as animated as ever. With subtle soul samples and jazzy moments throughout, this expansive beat tape is definitely one worth checking out. Highlights include “Sunshine”, “New Sound” and “About You”, but the whole tape is full of incredible gems. Each track is short, poignant and makes a statement, so don’t be swayed by the fact it’s 31 tracks long. The beats come and go, making an impact like a Dilla tape. Go support this one!
Bakey – Take It Further EP
Alright, time for some amazing UGK. Haven’t covered this genre in a while, but London-based producer Bakey has reminded my why I love it so much. Take It Further is his new EP- a short but punchy project with incredible beat arrangements and whopping energy throughout. The dark and dynamic “Yeh” opens the project with an absolute banger, with beat arrangements that sound crazy and energy levels that are just menacing. The title track is stunning as well, while “Personal” is borderline disrespectful in its production. Incredible beats, thumping drumming and synths that are playful but incredible throughout. It’s a perfect soundtrack to dark and gloomy nights in London, and one I will be playing for a while I think. Go check this one out for sure!
Fly Anakin & Pink Siifu – Richard Pryor (Single)
Fly Anakin and Pink Siifu are FlySiifu. I’ve been anticipating an album of theirs since they announced one would be on the way, and they’ve finally announced a release date – November 13th. It’s still a while away, but the wait will be worth it. They released a new single titled “Richard Pryor”, produced by Playa Daze, and a video to accompany it. The groovy energy of this one is terrific, with heavy, groovy basslines and an incredible soul loop that provide a fitting soundscape for both Pink Siifu and Fly Anakin to flow over and rap their ass over. It’s a terrific track and the video is pretty dope too. Excited for the album!
Lex Amor – Quarter Century ft Dani Sofiya & Maxwell Owin (Government Tropicana)
Lex Amor – Odogwu (Freestyle) (Government Tropicana)
Lex Amor – Bones ft Seinna (Government Tropicana)
Fly Anakin & Pink Siifu – Richard Pryor (Single)
Conway The Machine – See Everything But Jesus ft Freddie Gibbs (From King To A GOD)
Claire Reneé – Read My Lips (IF I)
Demae – Let Go oft Joe Armon-Jones (Life Works Out… Usually)
Slauson Malone – Smile #6 (see page 198 and 158) (Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak))
Slauson Malone – The Wake Pt. 3 & 2 (see page 87, 58, and 48) (Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak))
Butcher Brown – #KingButch (#KingButch)
slowthai – feel away ft James Blake & Mount Kimbie (Single)
Jadasea – Deep End (Single)
30/70 – Tempted (Maxwell Owin Remix) (Fluid Motion Remixed)
Mildlife – Automatic (Automatic)
BAKEY – Take It Further (Take It Further EP)