Skepta – Konnichiwa
Konnichiwa is a genuine hijack on our fixed musical perceptions. No longer is grime a peripheral bellow of urban discontentment. Grime represents an active resistance to convention, a yearning for realism and an organic social commentary of British struggle. Skepta is flying the flag for the every-man.
Regardless of genre, Konnichiwa is what Britain needed: music at its most uncompromised. An album assembled from the fundamental mainstays of rap music. Authentic bars. Raw beats. Konnichiwa delivers on both fronts, especially beat wise.
As always, Skepta affirms his position as one of the wittiest lyricists in grime, dishing out bars that often, only he can get away with: “Got rude, that didn’t work/And your girl looks like she don’t work.”
KAYTRANADA – 99.9%
Encompassing an indefinite list of sub-genres, 99.9% is essentially a blitz of lo-fi synth and soulful groove. KAYTRANADA’s production style fizzes with somewhat versatile colour, morphing to complement the likes of Craig David and AlunaGeorge.
Albums with this brand of subdued sound barely trouble me with abstract meaning or metaphor, even if it’s blindingly present. The bottom-line is, are the melodies ‘tasty’? Well. They’re alright.
It’s a meticulous point of debate that I’m about to offer. Electronic albums necessitate a certain amount of flow. Unfortunately, I think few too many melodies on 99.9% mutate into each other. By track eight, it starts to become a tad weary, at that point the album starts to rely on casual vibe alone.
LUH – Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting an album – in 2016 – that would blow Bowie’s encapsulating farewell, Blackstar, out the water. Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing is a cathartic chorale of distortion soaked in the iniquity of humankind.
LUH haven’t fashioned a passive listen here. Instrumentally, this album is a harrowing barrage. Reading this, it must sound nothing short of ghastly. This album is unexplainable. LUH animate the screams of redemption in the most musically gorgeous way possible.
With warped synths, thumping percussion and some trademark roars from Ellery Roberts, if you take away one track from this LP, let it be $ORO – an inciting, elaborate critique of capitalist society. Note the subtle pop shot at the music industry by showering the vocal in auto tune.