Review: It's been a while since we heard from J Hus, whose 2017 set "Common Sense" was rightly acclaimed for fusing grime and dancehall with sounds more commonly associated with contemporary African music and R&B. Now back doing what he does best after a stint in prison for carrying a knife, J Hus has delivered an album that builds on his impressive work to date. Beat-maker Jae5 has delivered some of his best backing tracks to date - sparse and weighty, but with greater use of more traditional instrumentation such as brass and electric guitar - while J Hus' accompanying lyrics and flows are as thoughtful and insightful as they are raw and uncompromising. Surely wider acclaim awaits in the months and years ahead.
Review: Whereas Joji's acclaimed 2018 debut album was an evocative and atmospheric concoction that sat somewhere between lo-fi trip-hop, experimental R&B and bubbly electronica, this hotly anticipated follow-up is a much bolder and more musically advanced affair. That means that the Japanese-Australian artist's evocative, eyes-closed vocals come cloaked in sweeping strings, crunchy guitars and twinkling pianos, while resting on booming basslines and punchy, tweaked hip-hop and R&B beats. It's a formula that only enhances his already impressive songs, while the presence of some high-profile collaborators - Diplo and Yves Tumor included - only emphasizes the top-tier circles he's now moving in.
Review: Jungle Brown's much anticipated second album is finally here, and packed with collaborations with exciting peers like Sampa The Great, Fliptrix and Terri Walker. The trio of Ric Flo, MAEAR & Tony Bones are in fine form with their ever soulful hip hop taking subtle hints from grime, house and trap. "Keep It Movin" and Huami" are for golden era fans, while "Sometimes" flips the script with a tight, bumping house beat and buttery raps. "Custom Made" is a rhythmically inventive, richly layered track and is one of many highlights on a standout album.