Hey everyone, hope you’re all doing well. It’s been another busy week, but as usual I’ve been dedicated to not missing a weekly roundup, and it’s been a good quality one this week! So without further ado, happy reading and listening!
The energy of Busta Rhymes’ Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God echoes that of his first few albums
As far as album sequels go, Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God might be one of the better projects of the year. Busta Rhymes is a rap vet, a legend who has had some of my favourite music of all time. 1996’s The Coming and 1997’s When Disaster Strikes… are stone-cold classics, while 1998’s E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front was an elite concept album that perfectly captured the angst and anxiousness of young life in the USA. His pen-game has been elite throughout his career, and even though he had a series of underwhelming projects in the 2000s, Busta’s discography and legacy speaks for itself. On Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God, the New York emcee exceeds expectations with a diverse and eclectic body of work that contains the same kind of incredible energy as his previous work. Read more
Homeboy Sandman – Don’t Feed The Monster
As someone who has been following Homeboy Sandman’s career for about a decade, it’s inspiring seeing him continue to push his artistry and sharpen his pen with every release. Don’t Feed The Monster is his new project, and it’s an introspective and incredible personal album that tackles the topics of trauma and stress with a dystopian theme and overall sound. The album is produced by the legend Quelle Chris, who is able to capture a dark and overpowering sound that feels dense and off-kilter. Tracks like “Trauma” and “Scare You” are deep and incredibly personal moments that give us an insight to his inner-most feelings and thoughts, while providing clever and intricate wordplay throughout his rhymes. It’s an excellent release, and one that showcases Homeboy Sandman’s impressive talents.
KAELIN ELLIS – After Thoughts
Florida-based producer KAELIN ELLIS has come through with an incredibly lavish, soulful and textured new project titled After Thoughts. Known for his incredibly lush and lively beats, the talented artist really decided to step his game up with a stunning, atmospheric and textured sound. The rich aesthetics on tracks like “Moons” and “Today” are incredible, with thick basslines, synth leads and horn sections adding colour to the track, while vocal samples on tracks like “Clarity” and “Livin'” are incredible as well. Overall it’s a beautiful body of work that feels organic in sound, perfectly capturing a groovy, rhythmic vibe that is colourful and super engaging. A great release indeed!
JD. Reid – North West’s Finest
JD. Reid is simply one of the best producers to come out of the UK in the last few years. His brand new mixtape is titled North West’s Finest and it features 16 tracks of some of the hardest beats you’ll hear this year. It’s inspired by Madlib, and you can hear some of the similarities, but JD. Reid’s uniquely soulful and hard-hitting production is incredible throughout the entire project. From the feel-good tracks “open water” and “glory” to the heavier and more menacing “zebras” featuring Denzel Himself and “when it rains” featuring Ms Banks, the album is varied and incredibly well balanced. The soul and groovy energy throughout makes this an excellent project.
Seinna & Scientific – The Axiomatic
London-based artist Seinna and Dresden, Germany-based producer Scientific have come through with an excellent new project titled The Axiomatic. I’ve been following their music as a duo for a while now, their singles “Kimchi” and “Mother Tongues” featuring Lex Amor were incredible. Seinna’s pen game is incredible, as his intricate raps are potent and introspective, flowing effortlessly over the synth-led soulful production from Scientific, who is a producer to look out for now and for the next few years. “Oscillations” features an incredible verse from Twin Tha Lynchpin, who snaps on the eclectic and choppy beat, while “Revelations” featuring Dani Sofiya is an ethereal and reflective way to close out this beautiful project. Both Seinna and Scientific exceed expectations on this project, with lavish, textured production and poignant verses that highlight the extent of their talents. Go support!
Bastien Keb – The Killing of Eugene Peeps
UK-based producer Bastien Keb is one of my personal favourite producers. His 2017 album 22.02.85 is an example of his incredible talents as a musician, with a cinematic and animated soundscape that is textured in sound and incredibly intricate and potent. The Killing of Eugene Peeps is another cinematic and experimental body of work that sounds almost unsettling, with it’s melodic synth leads and incredible percussion throughout. It’s like a soundtrack to a 70s crime flick, a sound Bastien Keb has been inspired by throughout his music career. The jazzy and folk melodies of tracks like “The Trains Don’t Keep Me Up Now” are stunning. As a vocalist, his voice is husky but incredibly powerful and soulful. An example of this is on “Lucky (Oldest Grave)”, a gorgeous ballad featuring overpowering, stunning vocals that evoke such incredible emotion. Throughout, we can hear his soft, husky voice being a central component to the tone and energy of this project, and it’s honestly one of the most beautiful bodies of work I’ve listened to in a while. One to support, for sure!
Jarreau Vandal – Suburb Superhero: The Villain Within
Amsterdam-based artist Jarreau Vandal has come through with a stellar new project titled Suburb Superhero: The Villain Within. With dynamic, synth-heavy production and afrobeat-inspired rhythms, the talented musician is able to bring a dynamic and colourful, feel-good energy to his music. Tracks like “Midnight” featuring Kojey Radical and “My Way” featuring Colt3trane are two highlights for me, with their groovy, bass-heavy melodies with incredibly lush instrumentals that hit hard throughout. The whole tape is infectious, and Jarreau Vandal has really come through with an impressive project that further showcases why he’s one of the most unique musicians making music today. One to definitely support!
Bugseed – Rough Sketch EP
Japanese producer Bugseed has come through with a banging new EP titled Rough Sketch. I’ve been a fan of Bugseed for a few years now – his hard-hitting, groove-centric beats are emphatic and throughout this entire album, Bugseed is able to capture the same, soulful and crisp sound that has defined his musical identity for years. Tracks like “Low Lights” feature some incredible piano keys, a melodic track that is so beautiful. Other highlights include the animated “Singing sad” and the slow-building groove of “Festa”. Overall, the Japanese producer is really able to exceed all expectations with a release that is concise and cohesive throughout, with beats that hit hard and a colourful tone that is memorable and wonderfully produced. One to support again!
TAH & OSSX – TURNPIKE AUTHORITY EP
US-based electronic musicians TAH and OSSX have come through with a stellar new EP titled TURNPIKE AUTHORITY EP. The stellar broken-beat sound they have created on this project is incredible. The bubbly and colourful “SLAPBOX” is a clear highlight for me, with intricate beats throughout that make for an engaging listen. Their ability to channel all of their influences, from R&B to drum and bass, into a footwork project that sounds incredibly colourful, full of intense and dance-centric energy, is what makes this such a unique and memorable project. The beat on “OMAVI DENIM” is relentless, as it goes into this synth-led melody that sounds poignant and truly captivating. It’s a terrific body of work and one to definitely support!
Chroma – Source of Nurture Vol. 2
Chroma is a cross-disciplinary creative studio founded by Ladin Awad, June Canedo & Sienna Fekete. As a collective, they are intentional in their efforts to diversify our industries and nurture a cultural consciousness that centers women of color. Source of Nurture is a music fundraising initiative curated and presented by Chroma. Their goal is to bring together women of colour and super talented voices together, to support various organisations, organizers and funds that stand for and support BIPOC, Immigrant and Undocumented communities. It is an inspiring initiative that features equally as inspiring musicians. Source of Nurture Vol. 2 features appearances from KeiyaA, Moor Mother, Ashley Venom, TWEAKS, JWords, Suzi Analogue and Gemma Castro among others. The soulful, electronic sound that is felt throughout is incredibly lush and textured, capturing the variety and eclecticism of each and every member. Go support!
Busta Rhymes – E.L.E 2 Intro ft Chris Rock, Rakim & Pete Rock (Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God)
Busta Rhymes – Slow Flow ft Ol’ Dirty Bastard (Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God)
Busta Rhymes – Look Over Your Shoulder ft Kendrick Lamar (Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God)
Homeboy Sandman – Stress (Don’t Feed The Monster)
Mach-Hommy – TTFN (Lashes of Fire) (Fete Des Morts AKA Dia De Los Muertos)
KAELIN ELLIS – Moons (After Thoughts)
Bugseed – behind the times (Hidden Gems)
Wun Two – Lasagne (Single)
Seinna & Scientific – Revelations ft Dani Sofiya (The Axiomatic)
Bastien Keb – Lucky (Oldest Grave) (The Killing of Eugene Peeps)
Jarreau Vandal – Midnight ft Kojey Radical (Suburb Superhero: The Villain Within)
Jay Prince – NOBODY’S BUSINESS (SOL, VOl. 2)
João Donato – Nana Das Águas (Quem é Quem)
Marcos Valle – Alma (Sempre)
Jitwam & Folamour – Sun After Rain (Single)