If you’ve already delved into this week’s soundtrack, great! If not, allow me to walk you through this week’s roundup. I’m sharing new music from James Blake, Toro Y Moi, and 9th Wonder. Honorable mentions go to “Everything Coagulates” by Bremen, a small Japanese duo producing high-quality, psychedelic instrumentals that will shake your frozen, little hearts back to life.
James Blake’s new album Assume Form has arrived and it’s been bumping on every playlist, radio station or millennial work space in the country! I’m being hyperbolic, of course, but the point remains that James Blake’s album is a universally appreciated release. This song, specifically, is the most popular; it’s no surprise since it features the ASTROWORLD sensation Travis Scott. For those of us who are fans of both these accomplished artists, we can tell that this song is more heavily inspired by Scott than it is Blake. Produced by another successful male producer, Metro Boomin, who I feel found a nice balance between Scott’s and Blake’s aesthetics. I’m very fond of this track; I enjoy the calm, the lamenting harmonies, and the sample choices. With that said, some have criticized Mile High for sounding like a never ending intro section.
You might have heard of Aminidi K. Fro$t when she dropped her lauded summer jam “Pine & Ginger” back in 2017. This track, however, shines a light on a different side to this young, Jamaican rapper. On this track, Amindi is actively tributing Mac Miller’s song “Eggs Aisle” (both songs have nothing to do with eggs). This personal, intimate track was dropped earlier this month as an independent release. Throughout the song, Amindi reflects on the complex relationship between a father and a daughter; “And your dad ain't ever lied, and he always tells the truth, so you keep him by your side, and he keep your food and roof” Amindi raps. I find her lyrics very sincere, sweet, and direct—a quality that convinced me to put it on the roundup because I was only mildly moved by the production choices of this track.
I know, I put Future on last week’s roundup, but I felt this song was worthy of mention. The fact that it is also on THE WZRD (Future’s new album) is a small coincidence. Moreover, I love Travis Scott, as you can probably tell. All you need to know about this song is that it was produced by ATL Jacob (who impressed me—you should read about his come-up) and it was released through Epic Records and Freebandz.
Miss Me (ft. ABRA): Toro y moi
More new albums! Toro Y Moi finally dropped Outer Peace via Carpark Records, which he’s been teasing with several singles including “Freelance” and “Ordinary Pleasure” (both of which were covered on muffakirah!). If you haven’t given this album a listen, it’s truly a well-curated, thoughtful experience. It was hard to choose a track to highlight, but I thought the collaboration on “Miss Me” created a notable musical contrast: ABRA’s delicate vocals clash gracefully with Toro’s eerie, experimental production choice. On “Miss Me”, Toro settles well into the role of a producer. I enjoy this track very much, and I hope you do too, but if you feel compelled, do tell me which track from Outer Peace is your favorite!
Soho (ft. JID): boogie
As far as conscious rap goes, Boogie is one of my favorite underdogs. Like others on this roundup, the West-Coast rapper just dropped his new album Everythings For Sale last month. Boogie has a very unapologetic, skeptical demeanour that his music expresses well. I discovered Boogie through his “Nigga Needs” video—an equally thought-provoking production—and I have since then payed attention to his work. I continue to appreciate Boogie’s commentary on popular culture. This track is consistent with Boogie’s staple swag and JID’s guest verse flows seamlessly alongside it.
The almighty 9th Wonder blesses us with Zion III, a massive 42-track instrumental beat-tape, on his own label Jamla Records. If you’re a fan, this mixtape will indulge your every craving. It was hard to choose which instrumental to include, not only are they all very similar but they are also meant to be listened to within context of the album. Finally, I chose one of the most streamed on Spotify, but I seriously urge you to listen through the entire album. The only way to listen to 9th Wonder is to dive head-first into his soulful universe.
Scrolling through Warp Records’ Weekly Mixtape I discovered this intense, powerful piece of music. I was immediately pulled in by the elements of psychedelic rock blended with ambient electronic sounds. The melancholic violins remind me of the Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.” It’s a short track, but it achieves more emotionally in 2:52 minutes than some songs do in 5 minutes. Bremen is a Japanese duo releasing music through Blackest Ever Black, a record label based in the UK. Enter Silence is their fourth, most cohesive, and most emotive album to date.