Haitian-Canadian electronic musician, producer and DJ “Kaytranada” just dropped a new album and it’s a real strong offering to show the solid talent coming out of Canada right now. Combining funk, soul, disco, R&B, blues, bass, electro and probably another few genres, the album is an uplifting hear for sore ears.
It’s getting rave reviews and lots of respect from top musicians right now on Twitter:
Jesus Christ….@KAYTRANADA 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) May 6, 2016
— SWIZZ BEATZ (@THEREALSWIZZZ) May 7, 2016
— DJ Jazzy Jeff (@djjazzyjeff215) May 7, 2016
— AlunaGeorge (@alunageorge) May 6, 2016
— Craig David (@CraigDavid) May 6, 2016
I’m trynna tole ’em, bruh. RT @CraigSJ See about that Kaytranada album tonight. Trust.
— Phonte (@phontigallo) May 5, 2016
This new @KAYTRANADA album is greatness. Bro really has his own genre of music. It’s quite for u niggas
— Rejjie Snow (@rejjiesnow) May 7, 2016
Thanks for having me on your album @KAYTRANADA
— syd (@internetsyd) May 6, 2016
Go cop that @Kaytranada album.
— Freddie Gibbs (@FreddieGibbs) May 6, 2016
Really good baselines, breakbeats, mixing, sampling and transitions along with a strong hold of melody, this producer knows how to please me sonically.
The first track, “Track Uno” is a great introduction to Kaytranada’s skills on the 1’s and 2’s. He takes some funk and electric and puts together a really great ride through a couple of different moods and feelings all within a 6 minute song. That gives you your first taste of what he does well: he can use music to make your mind feel a certain way and the rest of your body follows in tune.
The next track, “Bus Ride” is a relaxed trip through the mind of Kaytranada, and this track reminds me of some old Nujabes vibrations BIGTIME. Kaytranada teams up with Karriem Riggins and River Tiber for some extra magic packed into a 2 minute song. With the subtle piano loop on top of bass and drums that increase in tempo as the song progresses, you get another taste of what you can tell is going to be a very smooth album.
“Got It Good” features an old favorite of mine, Craig David straight outta the UK. The old new school UK R&B magic crooner Craig David really shines on this track, blending a head bumping baseline with his inviting R&B flow. The female voice on this track, including the chorus loop, adds just the right touch to nearly make a solid duet with David. This track really shines on the album.
I really love AlunaGeorge’s music(think “You Know You Like It” and “I’m In Control”, couple of solid recent club jams) and she blesses Kaytranada’s album with her catchy disco soul vocals in the next track, “Together” also featuring soul producer GoldLink. Really good combo to bring out the disco soul talents of Kaytrananda.
We get a glimpse of Kaytranada’s crossover potential and strength in the next track, “Drive Me Crazy” feat. Vic Mensa. With the endorsement and feature from Vic, you know that Kaytranada is aligning himself with solid up and coming talent, and he won’t be stopped anytime soon. Keeping with an electrosoul backdrop and by adding a solid heavy baseline to complement Vic Mensa’s melodic raps, Kaytranada has shown some serious potential with this track, and with this album thus far.
“Weight Off” changes the mood of the album and in a good way. The track starts off with a rugged, hard bass breakbeat rhythm. Kaytranada teams up with Canadian music squad BadBadNotGood to really rep the strength of Canadian music producers. It gives you further proof of the Canadian’s control of electrosynth bass and ability to paint pictures and impart vibrational emotions for your psyche to soak in. It moves from a breakbeat rhythm into a fluctuating synth adventure. Another of the few tracks on the album without a vocal artist, this short track flows well into the next track featuring Phonte, “One Too Many”. This one has the underrated genius of Little Brother and one-half of the duo The Foreign Exchange–Phonte laying down an upbeat disco ditty, and don’t forget, it’s the end of the night and Phonte had ‘One Too Many’.
The next one, “Despite The Weather”, is a short but groovy little tune that mixes bass and blues at the start and adds a little soul vocal spot at the end to bring you an old school feeling. “Glowed Up” feat. Anderson .Paak is an early drop that first introduced me to Kaytranada a few weeks ago. Anderson .Paak’s interesting voice and flow prowess has taken the industry by storm in the last 12 months, largely due to the endorsement from Dr. Dre on the “Compton” album soundtrack. Kaytranada brings us a positive synth fused hip hop bass boom bap track for Anderson .Paak to lace up. It was a smart early drop and i’m still diggin it now while listening to the album.
“Breakdance Lesson N.1” is a 5 minute disco funk track that you can’t help but dance to. Kaytranada fuses the electric guitar with some popping high keys to give you a great dance track. He moves into a short breakbeat at the end where you again get to see him painting pictures that flow into other scenes and emotions, all within the same song, very smoothly. The next one is another upbeat disco funk dance club track with Kaytranada teaming up with singer, producer and DJ from the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles “Syd Tha Kid” and you gotta move your feet with the beat. Good keys, good rhythm, and good vocals tie up a smooth love ballad dance track.
“Vivid Dreams” is a catchy song with Kaytranada once again bringing in Canadian River Tiber’s prowess. Kaytranada’s top tone talents come to life. The keys pop as the song changes breakbeats a few times, and the ride is just fine. “Lite Spots” is a really great and stand out track to once again show Kaytranada’s strength with loops and samples. The female vocal samples stand out and the change in rhythm as the song ends is an interesting way to bring the track further to life.
“Leave Me Alone” featuring Canadian singer, songwriter and dancer Shay Lia is an upbeat dance track with good sampling and vocals to start, while the track moves into a synth vibe and back into the drumbeat of the first part of the dance track. The album wraps up with Kaytranada crossing the Atlantic to team up with Swedish electro band Little Dragon for a disco club dance track that you once again can’t help but dance to. Positive. Bright. Uplifting. Brings back memories of my childhood listening to Kylie Minogue and Michael Jackson. Lots of great feelings imparted. Lot of respect on this drop, it’s a good one. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Check it out now on Spotify.