Hey everyone, happy Sunday as per usual! Busy week for me, trying to manage my mental health these days, hoping everyone is keeping safe and healthy. Another stellar week for music releases, so without further ado, let’s get into it!
Burden of Proof is an important moment of growth for both Benny The Butcher and Hit-Boy
Benny The Butcher’s brand new album is titled Burden of Proof and is entirely produced by one of the most respected mainstream producers of the last decade Hit-Boy. I expected this album to be full of incredible lyricism and lush production and that’s pretty much what I got from it. It’s more melodic and soulful in its production than his previous projects, and that gives him more of a melodic and atmospheric soundscape for him to rap over, and he does not disappoint! Burden of Proof is such an important moment of growth for Benny, who continues to show why he’s one of the most talented and talked about emcees working today. Hit-Boy on the other hand delivers a lavish, textured and lively soundscape that fits perfectly with the grit of Benny’s voice and tone. A great album and one you should check out! Read more
Melodic, textured and personal, Caleb Giles’ new project Meditations awe-inspiring
With his new project Meditations, the gifted artist pours his heart out with 10 reflective tracks that, as he describes them “allowed me to see/realize a larger portion of myself that was previously unavailable. I just needed the right cheat codes to unlock the shit.” And upon first listen, these tracks sound personal and full of heart, tacking his thoughts and traumas with honesty and a passion that is just so captivating to listen to and digest. Caleb Giles’ personal, heartfelt and relatable music is a true gift to the world, and Meditations is another incredible project that showcases the extent of his talents as a songwriter, rapper and producer. Read more
As far as soundtracks that represent this year go, Actress’ new album Karma & Desire is the perfect one
I mean, the title says it all really. Now London-based but originally from Wolverhampton, the enigmatic and incredibly talented producer Actress has released some of my favourite music over the last decade or so. I’ve been a fan of his ever since his 2008 debut Hazyville. It was a mystic, dark and utterly mesmeric take on drum-heavy electronic and house music and was something I was immediately drawn to. Twelve years later, and he is still releasing exceptional music. It’s rare to experience a project that so potently and poetically captures the mood and experiences I’ve felt this year. The sonic palate and soundscapes that Actress created throughout Karma & Desire are truly sublime. It’s a true sonic representation of the dystopian reality of this year, and it’s a project I will definitely have on repeat for a while. Go support this incredible album! Read more
Jay Cinema & Brwnsounds – BrwnCinema
New-York based emcee Jay Cinema and Dayton, Ohio producer Brwnsounds have released a stellar collaborative album titled BrwnCinema. Having recently gotten acquainted with both of their music individually fairly recently, I was intrigued to hear this new project, and I was not disappointed one bit, as they exceeded all expectations. Brwnsounds’ production is intricate, eclectic and textured, with futuristic production that hits hard throughout. Jay Cinema’s introspective and relatable lyricism is incredible as well, as he flows and raps effortlessly over these beats. Favourites on the album include the opener “Eye_”, the soulful, Brazilian-sampled “Brwn_Cinema” and the smooth and groovy “Nyte_”. The whole album though is fantastic though, and I recommend everyone check this project out.
Glenn Astro – Homespun
Berlin-based producer Glenn Astro has come through with a phenomenal new album titled Homespun. The gifted musician has again exceeded expectations with grooves and beats that are infectious and eclectic by nature. “The Yancey” is an example of this, with jittery synths that give the track a hypnotic bounce to it. Ajnascent’s contributions on “Homespun”, “Elysia” and “Look At You” featuring Eyal Lovett are beautiful, as his gorgeous, soulful vocal performances give a truly mesmeric feel and tone to the album. More dynamic moments such as “Mezzanine” featuring Mirek and “Taking Care of Business” showcase his versatility as a producer and his ability to create something truly special. It’s a fantastic project that I think deserves all the praise, and I hope he continues doing his thing for years to come. Go support!
SMYAH – Splitting Atoms
It gives me great pride listening and reviewing this project. SMYAH is a Bulgarian producer from Sofia, its capital, and Splitting Atoms is his brand new album. As a Bulgarian, I often feel patriotic when amazing creative people do something truly special. And SMYAH is one of those people. This album feels a lot heavier, moodier and eerier than his previous work, focusing more on bass-heavy production than more intricate and soulful beats. This album is hard-hitting, melodic and driven by a sense of urgency, a true reflection of the unsettling nature of this year so far. Tracks like “Lithium” are examples of this, with wailing synths and a heavy groove that perfectly captures this heavy, hypnotic and tribal feel to it. “Hylab i sol” (bread and salt) featuring Grigovor is great as well. Grigovor’s verse, in Bulgarian, is menacing, as he flows effortlessly over the harsh and desolate instrumental. “Rivers of Wind” is another highlight to me, with it’s meandering, atmospheric synth leads. Overall this album is definitely one to check out, and an amazing ambassador for the growing Bulgarian music scene.
LAPIS – Third Person You
Aukland, New Zealand artist LAPIS has released a brand new debut album titled Third Person You. Having been a fan of his smooth, atmospheric production for a while now, I was intrigued and massively excited to listen to this new album. And to no surprise, it was absolutely incredible. Tracks like “Rum Within Gold” are just genius in their composition, and the angelic and soulful “Why am I still scared to share?” showcases LAPIS’ vocal range and incredible vocal tones throughout. The keys throughout tracks like “YFML” are stunning as well. LAPIS’ music is gorgeous and beautifully structured, and perfectly captures the gorgeous tone of his music. I’ll be playing this project for a while, and I definitely recommend it!
Tcheser Holmes – ...the T is silent
As a member if Irreversible Entanglements, Tcheser Holmes has proven himself as one of the most exciting percussionists working today. Those projects were incredible, and individually, Tcheser Holmes has now released a brand new EP titled … the T is silent. The project is simply incredible. The opener “Shiftin” is one of the most frantic, rhythmic and infectious jazz tracks I’ve heard all year. “Heaxagram 56” is a slower, quieter and more subdued track, while the drumming on “We From Da City” is relentless. The cosmic closer “Vowels” is an incredible way to close the album, with personality and sheer energy. The EP is truly fantastic!
Jesse Koolhaas & Myrthe van de Weetering – Archipelago
Amsterdam-based producer Jesse Koolhaas jas joined forces with incredibly talented violinist and composer Myrthe van de Weetering to release an EP titled Archipelago. It’s a subdued, emotive body of work that captures a sense of sadness or deep state of reflection. Tracks like “Rite de Passage” especially sounds like it belongs in a Christopher Nolan film for its grandiosity, while the sad and poetic “Wandervogel” is just so moving it’s hard not to be taken aback by the incredible music. The darkness of the self-titled closer tells the tale of a world that’s under immense amount of pressure. Whether it’s corrupt and dangerous governments, a racist in the highest seat in the office with an election coming up, the unfortunate continuing protests for equal rights, to the environmental tragedies that will occur in the next 50 years, there’s a lot to reflect upon. A truly mesmeric project that captures all sentiments right now.
LTF – Monolith
Russian producer LTF has come through with an impressive new project titled Monolith. Mixing trumpet-led jazz music, hip-hop beats and blues, Monolith represents a more positive side to life. “King of Funk” is exactly an example of that, while “Mystic Brew” features an incredible groove and beat, as the melody adds colour and optimism to the dynamic and hard-hitting beat. This brings the EP to life, with animated, percussion-led melodies and phenomenal textures that ring throughout the entire album. The project as a whole is colourful, as well as aesthetically rich, so definitely one to check out!
Benny The Butcher – One Way Flight ft Freddie Gibbs (Burden of Proof)
Benny The Butcher – New Streets (Burden of Proof)
Benny The Butcher – War Paint ft Westside Gunn & Conway The Machine (Burden of Proof)
Caleb Giles – Stone Flower (Meditations)
Caleb Giles – Soil (Meditations)
Caleb Giles – Clockwise (Meditations)
Actress – Angels Pharmacy ft Zsela (Karma & Desire)
Actress – Leaves Against The Sky (Karma & Desire)
Actress – Turin ft T-09 (Karma & Desire)
Glenn Astro – Mezzanine ft Mirek (Homespun)
SMYAH – Lithium (Splitting Atoms)
Jesse Koolhaas & Myrthe van de Weetering – Rite de Passage (Archipelago)
redveil – Weight (Niagara)
Nappy Nina – Weight (Single)
LTF – King of Funk (Monolith)