mejiwahn is a pioneer in the soul and jazz beat genre. Since about 2014 I have been listening to him create these vast, cinematic soundscapes using incredible guitar leads, synths and beat arrangements that are emotive, beautiful and hypnotic. His last full-length project, Lúil Ó Fadó, was an incredible body of work, with rich soundscapes taking inspiration from bossa nova, jazz and soul music, with groovy beats and samples that add animated, lively energy to the music he creates. The Oakland-based musician is back with a new body of work titled Beanna, and it’s equally as hypnotic and meditative as his previous albums. The lo-fi, raw aesthetic makes it sound like it was recorded in the 70s, with vocal snippets and dusty guitar leads and loops sounding absolutely stunning.
Highlights are plentiful throughout the 13-track album. “Spring” featuring Juuwah on bass and Daniel Bitrán on tenor saxophone is a colourful, feel-good track that captures the summer-like mood of this album, with its warm synths and percussion. The infectious beat on “Liné”, complemented by the mellow and subtle vocal sample and dynamic drum groove is another stellar moment on the album. The vocal features by hrlum on “Lumaby” and Liv.e on “Heart String Special” are emotive and incredibly soulful, with the former track having a fast-paced, dynamic drum groove that is complemented by groovy basslines and colourful synths, while the latter track is slower and more reflective, with three distinct sonic arrangements that bring the best out of Liv.e’s soulful and distinct vocals. The murky vocals on “Gully” sit behind this dynamic, warm synth-driven melody that is lush and just so hypnotic. “Justheweed” featuring lojii and Zeroh is another clear highlight as both emcees flow effortlessly over the colourful, soulful beat. The subtle percussion arrangements on “Faring” add to the meditative synth melody throughout, while the reflective “Luna” is an emotive track with incredibly lush synth leads that add to the airy, atmospheric tone of the track. “Fiachra” featuring Cheflee, Chris Keys and Pacific Yew closes the album out with a groovy, soulful cut that features some soothing vocals over a bossa nova type groove. It’s a great way to close the album out, and again highlights mejiwahn’s talents as an arranger and composer.
Beanna is a colourful, feel-good album that proves yet again why mejiwahn is one of the most talented composers, arrangers and musicians working today. It’s sequenced perfectly to allow the album to flow effortlessly from start to finish, and features some soulful, moody and reflective beats that are enriched by the incredible guitar, bass and synth melodies, as well as the percussion and vocal snippets that add depth to the sonic tapestry he’s able to compose. Listen to mejiwahn’s fantastic new album Breanna below via Bandcamp and don’t forget to support!
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