Kaytranada: 99.9%

999Summer has officially arrived. In the past week, some of the biggest artists in the world released new music: Beyonce, then Drake, Radiohead, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, James Blake… and relative newcomer Kaytranada. Kaytranada is a name you should get to know fast. A frequent Major Lazer collaborator and astonishingly well-established producer, 99.9% is Kaytranada’s debut LP. A jazzy, electronic tour de force, Kaytranada and his onslaught of special guests combine for a trippy album that is perfect for summer patios and the sun-soaked hip-hop playlists of bars and clubs.

Ready for some more name dropping? Kaytranada’s first album features Anderson .Paak, Vic Mensa, The Internet’s Syd, Little Dragon, BADBADNOTGOOD, AlunaGeorge, Goldlink, Karriem Riggins, River Tiber, Phonte, Shay Lia, and Graig David. That’s right. This thing is stacked. And yet Kaytranada himself stays at the absolute forefront, blending his instrumental tracks with guest features in a way that really draws attention to the production. And Kaytranada’s production is fire: a varied mix of club, hip-hop, and electronic production with elements of jazz and soul and the occasional world sample.

…And funk. This album is incredibly funky and so so fresh. Check out “Lite Spots” coming in at track 13 for a little taste of Kaytranada’s musical sensibilities when it comes to sampling and production. This shit is almost better than Jamie xx (but what is that sample??). Kaytranada arrives on the scene sounding like he was made to make beats for people; as though he should be producing albums for rappers like Anderson .Paak, Vic Mensa, and Goldlink, all of which he’s brought in here. “Glowed Up” is .Paak’s best feature to date, and he’s done a lot of them, from Snakehips to Domo Genesis.

Vic Mensa’s feature on “Drive Me Crazy” is similarly some of his best work to date, as he only has a handful of singles out, the most notable being “U Mad (feat. Kanye West) and “Down On My Luck.” Goldlink and AlunaGeorge similarly shine on “Together,” and River Tiber and Karriem Riggins sound phenomenal on “Bus Ride,” probably the album’s jazziest and most experimental instrumental track. “Weight Off (feat. BADBADNOTGOOD)” is another fantastic jazzy interlude (and a rare but pleasant appearance of real instruments on an electronic album).

99.9% is a goldmine. This is just a taste of what Kaytranada’s got to offer here, from tracks like “One Too Many (feat. Phonte),” “You’re The One (feat. Syd),” Leave Me Alone (feat. Shay Lia),” and “Bullets” (feat. Little Dragon).” The features on this album showcase some of the best emerging and established artists in the hip-hop and electronic music communities. Kaytranada’s debut is a force to be reckoned with, and you should soon expect to hear these songs in hipster bars and clothing stores. This week’s barrage of new music has provided a perfect start to the summer, and Kaytranada is poised to rise up like the sun.

Advertisements

Red Hot Chili Peppers: “Dark Necessities”

red-hot-chili-peppers-the-getaway-new-album

Everything is happening this week. It’s been five long years, but both Radiohead and now the Red Hot Chili Peppers have returned with brand new songs. “Dark Necessities,” unlike Radiohead’s virtual disappearance before the release of “Burn the Witch,” comes with little fanfare. The album will be available on iTunes and has a full tracklist and album art (above). Die-hard Chili Peppers fans: keep in mind, this is only the first single. “Dark Necessities” is the second song on The Getaway, and is a radio-friendly, instantly-catchy Chili Peppers hit, akin to “Dani California,” or “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” off their last album, 2011’s I’m With You.

The track begins with a very modern sound, an indie-rock build of sorts (Danger Mouse is the album’s producer). But it quickly breaks down into a classic Chili Peppers funk line with the help of Flea’s one-of-a-kind bass-slapping style. The big, bright hand claps add a mod-80s feel, but Anthony Kiedis’ voice remains a defining feature of the anthemic stadium-rock the Chili’s have been crafting since their early days as a 90s funk-punk band. “Dark Necessities” uses piano effectively to create a more expansive sound that Kiedis and co were beginning to move towards on I’m With You, and Josh Klinghoffer’s guitar work here is exceptional, proving that he can not only fill Frusciante’s shoes but take his signature guitar tone to new places. If “Dark Necessities” is any indication, there’s lots to expect from the Red Hot Chili Peppers first album in five years, out June 17.

The Getaway tracklist:

1. The Getaway
2. Dark Necessities
3. We Turn Red
4. The Longest Wave
5. Goodbye Angels
6. Sick Love
7. Go Robot
8. Feasting on the Flowers
9. Detroit
10. This Ticonderoga
11. Encore
12. The Hunter
13. Dreams of a Samurai