Future Brown, widely touted as a modern day supergroup, have put together a super-compilation album for their debut full-length release, which borrows on an impressive array of musical influences. Referencing dancehall, reggae, grime, hip hop and more, it’s clear the band members are well versed in the multi-genre nature of today’s dance music. With Chicago rap living easily alongside UK grime, and ultra filthy dancehall popping up next to Kelela’s silky R&B ballad, this album is a unique patchwork.
Despite this, tracks progress fluidly, and the LP never feels disjointed. There’s also an interesting play between the male and female voices, all of which are uncompromising in their lyrical approach. Timberlee’s “No Apology” offers up an especially welcome and uninhibited depiction of female sexuality, and makes for an extreme contrast to the more R&B ballad styling of “Dangerzone”. It’s also hard not to fall for the Sicko Mobb-featuring “Big Homie”, even if it is doused in autotune. All that said, picking standout tracks from the line up is a challenge; partly because of the sheer variety of music but mostly because Future Brown have produced an album which outdoes itself with each successive track.
But although each piece has been shaped and filtered through the Future Brown hive mind, and stamped with their distinctive sound, there’s a concern that it comes dangerously close to caricature. The group stand over an interesting division between the music world and the art world, and it’s hard to completely dismiss a suspicion that this is all part of the Future Brown performance art persona. Even the album artwork seems to have been created with a sense of knowing, with its sly, italicised appropriation of Facebook’s well-known logo.
Perhaps it’s exactly this tension that makes the album work so well or maybe we’ve become too accustomed to one-dimensional production outfits. Either way, the plain truth is that Future Brown have created something genuinely intriguing and unsettling. With the release of Wanna Party, Future Brown promised a new and more weirdly subversive approach to dance music, and the album more than fulfils this promise.
1. Room 302 feat. Tink
2. Talkin Bandz feat. Shawnna and DJ Victoriouz
3. Big Homie feat. Sicko Mobb
4. No Apology feat. Timberlee
5. Vernáculo feat. Maluca
6. Dangerzone feat. Kelela and Ian Isiah
7. Speng feat. Riko Dan
8. Killing Time feat. Johnny May Cash YB and King Rell
9. MVP feat. 3D Na’Tee and Tim Vocals
10. Asbestos feat. Roachee, Prince Rapid and Dirty Danger
11. Wanna Party fest. Tink