Nelson Bandela has quietly become one of the most innovative producers and artists of the last few years. Projects like God Dad Bod and Black James Blake E.P are exemplary of his talents as a producer, combining his usual funk-driven grooves, electronic and synth experimentations, and a uniquely soothing and soulful voice that I’ve come to absolutely love. Even with all these releases of the last few years, his new project, Nu Balance is considered his debut studio album, and what a fantastic statement it is.
Over 14 tracks, the talented artist creates this soulful, eclectic and captivating energy, via soothing, synth and bass-led soundscapes that feel funky and ethereal throughout. The delicate and gorgeous opener “Good Sport” features Penny P. and Smith Taylor, with gorgeous vocals that complement the subdued and acoustic sonics. The dynamic and jumpy beat on “Fallin” featuring Billzegypt is quirky in its tone, and soulful with its vocals and grooves. “Endorphins” featuring Afua Darko is a proper funky cut, with an incredible bassline and a fun, dynamic groove that carries itself throughout. “The Marathon Race” has a hard-hitting beat and incredible grooves that complement Nappy Nina’s fantastic featured verse, while the “Burnin Rubbers” has this offbeat groove, dynamic and soulful energy that is wonderfully chaotic. “Walk Cycle / Run Cycle” is another highlight to me, with a spoken word-like verse from Nelson Bandela, complemented by a frantic synth-led beat. It’s another example of his incredibly fun and unique sonic experiments and his ability to bring these together in a cohesive body of work. The album as a whole flows effortlessly from track to track, with Nelson Bandela’s creative vision being the thing that brings everything together flawlessly.
As a debut studio album, Nu Balance is a highly impressive body of work from an artist ahead of his time. I’m really excited to hear what’s next, but for now, immerse yourself in Nelson Bandela’s world.
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