The Internet – Hive Mind review

Syd the Kid has come along way since her more provocative days in Odd Future. Legend has it that Tyler, the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt and the rest of OFWGKTA would go to her house to make their early mixtapes. Now though, Syd, Steve Lacy, Matt Martians, Patrick Paige and Christopher Smith are making music so effortless and funky; blending genres like R&B and Jazz to distinguish themselves from the cult-rap collective they were once associated with.

THE INTERNET

Lead single ‘Roll (Burbank Funk)’ combines tantalising textures of soulful vocals with an incredibly infectious baseline; strong enough to get anybody grooving.  Steve Lacy’s imperative lyrics are luring and invite us, as listeners, to join their party of unravelling rhythms. The album was created “all over the world” said Syd in a Reddit Q&A, this really comes through – especially in the last three tracks. Made in Australia, the tunes have a hazier vibe and show a switch in mood for the LP. Relaxed, soothing and breezy, ‘Beat Goes On’ and ‘Wanna Be’, especially, sound a lot more carefree than the other tracks.

Key themes addressed in their lyrics, like homosexual love, are uniquely interweaved into scintillating synths, which sit fittingly throughout the whole record. This project is the strongest sign of all of the member’s solo projects coming together to produce an exclusive sound that their family like following craves. The lack of features on this LP is probably the only initial downfall I can think of. Previously, we have been treated with features from the likes of KAYTRANADA and Tyler, the Creator. Often, this takes their music to the next level, adding an element to their music that makes it more out of the ordinary. You could therefore, maybe, say that this new album feels slightly safe; Syd and Co don’t heavily experiment with the sound they are known for. However, considering how good their previous album ‘Ego Death’ is, this doesn’t necessarily matter, and can consequently be an aspect we hope to see in their future LPs.

 

Songs of the month – April 2018

Yellow Days – The Way Things Change

Yesterday I came to the brutal reality that 19 year old Yellow Days, being only a few months older than me, has probably achieved more in his life already than I ever will. With an EP, full length album, a sold out show at the KOKO and performances over in America all under his belt, at such a young age, could he have achieved anymore? In a recent interview with Notion magazine, George Van Den Broek described himself as a ‘fool’ in his early years of adolescence, choosing a ‘wild time’ over his many friends. However, this has only fuelled the lyricism of his work and ignited a newly nurtured psychedelic sound that his new single pursues. If you like your Mac Demarco or Thundercat, give this single a listen.

Bakar – All In

Also known as Badkid, Bakar recently filmed himself performing in LA for his instagram account; this is the first time I’d been able to catch him perform and the lad has a real presence. It is no shock that the likes of The Great Escape have snagged him to perform at their festival and with his first ever solo show at the Camden Assembly, sold out of course, his music is finally taking to the stage. Bakar has established a very eloquent sound;  ‘All In’ infuses lo-fi synths with punchy guitar and drum patterns, producing a dreamy soundscape – yet another indie heart warmer from the increasingly prolific Londoner.

A$AP Rocky – A$AP Forever

Featuring the forever eclectic Moby, ‘A$AP Forever’ expresses a maturity to Rocky’s music that I feel everyone has been craving recently. Not to say that ‘Lord Pretty Flacko’ hasn’t killed it on his string of trappy features but this song feels like a renovation of the A$AP sound, and one fans should be breaking arms and legs to hear more of. The assortment of scintillating strings, a euphoric ‘boom clap’ beat and dreamy female vocals makes this one of the most accomplished rap tracks of the year. Rocky has proven he is one of the biggest innovators of postmodern rap.

Novelist – Smiles

Novelist’s debut album ‘Novelist Guy’ was always going to be one of the most unique grime projects of the year. ‘Smiles’ is a track that differentiates the Lewisham boy from the crowd and justifies the praise he has received from the likes of Skepta and Julie Adenuga. Glazing a mellow beat with his self-reflective bars, giving us an insight to his upbringing and establishment of success, the tune is definitely one that goes against the grain of your typical grime banger. Definitely one for the summer.

Roll (Burbank Funk)

The evolution of the Internet has been a fascinating one. Even though Matt Martians, Syd the Kid and Steve Lacey have had successful solo releases, they seem their most comfortable and overt together. What a groove this track has, the jazzy instrumentation and acapella of vocals are the definition of funky and a great taster of just how great their new album will be. This is actually my favourite cut they have ever released, the most musically interesting for sure. Check back for a review of their full length LP when it is released.