Hey everyone, hope you’re all doing alright this week. I’m sure a lot of us can’t quite believe that we’re nearly at the end of the year, but great music is still getting pumped out, so this weekly roundup has some gems. If you’re interested in my favourite albums of 2020, you’ll have to wait a few more weeks to find out. Let’s get into it!
FLOHIO’s debut mixtape No Panic No Pain is a mesmeric project that puts her on the map as one of the most exciting artists of the year
FLOHIO is a generational talent. The Lagos-born, South London-based emcee has come through with a visceral debut mixtape titled No Panic No Pain, bringing ENERGY to some of the hardest, most dynamic and hard-hitting production I’ve heard in a minute. I literally found out about her incredible talents a few weeks ago through social media, and since pressing play on this exciting and eclectic project, I have been absolutely obsessed. Whether it’s from her incredibly poignant and intricate delivery, or the thumping, crazy production throughout, there’s a charm to this project that makes it a unique and eclectic listen. Read more
Classy, sophisticated and effortlessly soulful, R-Kay’s debut Ivory is an incredible musical accomplishment
For anyone who hasn’t heard of R-Kay, I want to make something very clear – he’s one of the best musicians of this country. I’ve been a fan of his for a few years now through his expansive, soulful and textured sound, as well as his active contributions with some of the most talented and exciting artists from the UK. On the one hand, we can talk about his incredible production, the beats he’s able to create, to his incredibly emotive and stunning piano melodies that land like honey on toast. This is the R-Kay I became familiar with, and oh my… his debut album Ivory has shattered all my expectations with a masterful, soulful, intricate and beautiful body of work that evokes both a sense of nostalgia and an excitement for the future. Things feel like they are in a better place, and R-Kay’s ability to transcend that in his music is genuinely moving. Read more
Knxwledge – VGM’s.PRT7_
Knxwledge is probably the most featured artist of any artist in these weekly roundups, and that should tell you about consistency. His beatmaking has influenced a generation, his sound will be remembered for years and years to come. And he makes it look so effortless. VGM’s.PRT7_ is another in his series of incredible beat tapes. With rumbling, thumping beats on the likes of “klip.” and “lookingformore.” are just examples of his elite talents. He brings soul on “persunal” and “othrway_”, highlighting his ability to seamlessly transition between the hard-hitting and sensual. The way he experiments on this project is exactly why I love his music. Go check this one out and support!
JWords – Sonic Liberation
One of my favourite producers of this year JWords has come through with another stellar project titled Sonic Liberation. Her sound leans towards the more electronic, experimental side of music, yet there is a sense of warmth when I listen to it. The infectious and eerie tone of “up late” sets the tone for what is a dynamic and memorable listen. “settlement” is a thumping track, but this crazy energy just keeps on giving on tracks like “sonic cleanse feels good” and especially the hectic “forms”. Another favourite of mine is the closer “fed up”, a beautifully colourful and eclectic track that keeps its incredible energy until the very end. This is probably my favourite project of hers – one of her most cohesive and memorable ones. So yeah, check it out!
BSTFRND – Proof of Pace
New-York-based artist BSTFRND has released some of my favourite production over the last few years. His beats feature intricate loops, soulful guitars and groovy drums that capture such a beautiful and emotive aura. On his new project Proof of Pace, the young and supremely talented musician was able to create a mesmeric, disorienting but fun sound that is glistening with beautiful sounds. Tracks like “Backwards Thinking” and “Musique Concréte” are off-kilter, while “Identity Crisis” channels some deep drum and bass rhythm that keeps propelling through. This project is an exceptional one, and I hope to see more BSTFRND production next year!
Voldy Moyo – Liberty City
Wakefield-based artist Voldy Moyo has had a pretty exciting 2020 so far. With releases like We Take the Same Steps and live shows with the likes of MIKE, Jadasea, Slauson Malone and more, Voldy Moyo has been able to carve a sound for himself that is uniquely his. His new project Liberty City amplifies his inspirations and ideas further onto a concise 10-track project. Tracks like “Cry” and “Seems 2 Fade” are futuristic, while “I’M GONE” is easily my favourite track on the album, with a jazzy and soulful undertone that perfectly captures the aura and beauty of the talented artist. The soulful “Liberty City” is another geat moment on the album, as he channels his more emotive artistic side. Overall, it’s a stellar body of work you should definitely check out.
Future Bubblers – Future Bubblers 4.0
The fourth installment of the Future Bubblers album series is here! The initiative, led by Brownswood Records, gets some of the most talented young artists to collaborate on an inspiring project bringing different corners of the UK together. Future Bubblers 4.0 features some fantastic artists: Forest Law, Quko, HMD, Kiddus, An Alien Called Harmony, KinKai, Iman Hussein and Lazy H. They all come through with textured, instrumentally dense musical compositions that capture such of the warmth of this country’s talents. The groove of “N.N.H. (Needlessly, Heedlessly, Headless)” by An Alien Called Harmony is utterly infectious, while the heavy, boom-bap groove of KinKai’s “Scatty Brain Dump” is exceptional as well, capturing such an amazing soul throughout. It’s all wonderful music, and I hope to hear more from all these artists individually in the next few years!
Sisonke Xonti – uGaba the Migration
South African saxophonist and composer Sisonke Xonti has been one of the most exciting jazz prospects in the world for the past few years. His sophomore release uGaba the Migration is an emphatic statement of intent. The compositions throughout, from the incredible drumming to the groove-heavy basslines, this project has it all. The frantic and unsettling “Newness” sets the tone for the rest of the album. The balance between melodic and chaotic throughout makes for an engaging listen, and I’ll definitely have to immerse myself more to truly appreciate its artistry. “The Migration Suite Part I” through to “The Migration Suite Part IV” is an example of their expansive sound and their willingness to experiment and try new sounds. The drumming is some of the best I’ve heard all year, and the way it complements the wind instrumentation and piano keys is just flawless. I can go on and on about this project, I think I’ll let the music do the talking, but this is an insanely good jazz project and I just hope more people get to hear it!
Maple Syrup – FRWRD
Maple Syrup is from one of the unlikeliest of places, in the middle of Russia. Perm to be precise, a city of a million people. The beatmaker has released a stellar new project titled FRWRD, a hard-hitting, masterful body of work that hits all the right beats and rhythms. The dynamic energy of “Shhhmokin” is so great, and the heaviness of the beat on “Confessions” is crazy. There are other exceptional moments on the project as well such as the soulful sample on “Come Close”, and together they make for a truly exceptional and memorable listen. I hope more people discover his music, and I hope to hear more from this talented musician in the future! Go support!
Odeeno – Closfeeling
Italian beatmaker Odeeno has come through with another great release titled Closfeeling. The raw and groovy tone of this project is led by some great instrumentals. From the smooth and emotive opener “Windblws” to the desolate and atmospheric “Passion”, the eclecticism and diversity in sound makes for an engaging but also relaxing listen. The beats throughout are light but also contain quite a groove throughout that just have the right balance. The more fast-paced groove of “Fewords” contrasts some of the slower-tempo’d beats, giving the project great variety as well. Go check this project out and support!
FLOHIO – Unveiled (No Panic No Pain)
FLOHIO – With Ease ft Kasien (No Panic No Pain)
FLOHIO – Sweet Flaws (No Panic No Pain)
R-Kay – Peace of Mind ft Liz Lubega (Ivory)
R-Kay – Can’t Let Go ft Scott Xylo & Dani Sofiya (Ivory)
R-Kay – Reunion ft Mills (Ivory)
Roc Marciano – Pimps Don’t Wear Rabbits (Mt. Marci)
Your Old Droog – Uzbekistan ft Phonte & Mach-Hommy (Dump YOD: Krutoy Edition)
Mach-Hommy – THBLKGD (Single)
Voldy Moyo – I’M GONE (Liberty City)
An Alien Called Harmony – N.H.H. – Needlessly Heedlessly Headless (Future Bubblers 4.0)
KinKai – Scatty Brain Dump (Future Bubblers 4.0)
Maple Syrup – Confessions (FRWRD)
Odeeno – Savmyself (Closfeeling)
Sisonke Xonti – The Migration Suite Part II (uGaba the Migration)
Jahari Massamba Unit – Du Morgon Au Moulin-À-Vent (Pour Duke) (Pardon My French)