GuiltyBeatz - Different EP Music Album Reviews

The Ghanian producer and DJ’s debut surveys contemporary African electronic music, uniting a breadth of influences and guest vocalists in a shadowy, clubby musical world.

In recent years, popular African artists have received a few bright moments in the American spotlight. In 2016, Drake’s “One Dance” became the first song to reach one billion Spotify streams with the help of South African producer DJ Maphorisa and Nigerian supernova Wizkid. Two summers went by before another African artist made a real splash on U.S. charts. Finally, in 2019, Davido’s “Fall,” Afro B’s “Drogba (Joanna),” and Burna Boy’s “Ye” became day-party soundtracks. Then, last July, Beyoncé released The Lion King: The Gift, a compilation of songs inspired by the Disney remake that featured some of the continent’s key contemporary talents.

Ghanian producer and DJ GuiltyBeatz was one of the talents Bey recruited. The three standouts he co-produced on The Gift were smooth, sauntering afrobeats, akin to hits that had gained traction in the U.S. already. His debut EP brings change: The predominately afro-house songs on Different demand more—both physically and mentally—than “One Dance,” “Fall,” or “Joanna.” This is not music to lounge or two-step to on a sunny day. These songs pulse and pull, building a shadowy, clubby world from echoing synths, pounding percussion, and slick, scant singing. GuiltyBeatz has been to Coachella, DJing for Nigerian Afropop star Mr Eazi; with Different, he sets his sights on Tomorrowland, where he can be an electronic maestro.

Different is loosely about desire—romantic, sexual, and economic—but most listeners won’t catch everything the cast of vocalists is saying. They’re from three different countries, and perform in at least four languages. Nigerian dreamboat Joeboy stars on “No Love,” sometimes warding off gold-diggers in Yoruba, sometimes skating across the beat with rhythmic punctuations. On “Condom Collector,” South Africa’s Moonchild Sanelly powerfully professes her coital obsession in English. On “My Vibe,” Ghana’s J.Derobie seduces his lover in patois.

But it’s GuiltyBeatz’s thoughtful production and sequencing that speaks loudest. He moves between sentimental longing and brazen lust with transitions so sleek it’s hard to tell where one song ends and another begins. “No Love” slips into “Uthando,” where the sweet-voiced Nigerian singer Nonso Amadi beckons you deeper down Beatz’s mystic path. The drums sparsen to usher in “My Vibe,” whose final keys flow easily into “How Long.” Different is only 16 minutes long, but like a satisfying workout, it both exhausts and energizes.

Beneath the project’s electronic umbrella, Beatz shows off his genre dexterity. “My Vibe” is a sultry dancehall number. With a delicate piano melody atop galloping drums, “How Long” has the air of South African amapiano music. The EP’s most backbreaking track, “Condom Collector,” takes cues from gqom, a subgenre of South African house with BPMs around 126. It is relentless and exorbitant, but GuiltyBeatz manages a smooth comedown. Wisely saving the familiar for last, he caps Different with its months-old single, “IYABO,” an afro-house cut with pop flare. The kooky buzz of its synths suggests the twirling walls of a funhouse exit.

Africa to the world is a popular rallying cry of the continent’s artists, whose work speaks in every tongue to the breadth and universality of Africa’s gifts. Born in Italy and raised in Ghana, GuiltyBeatz imagines a global audience for himself and his peers. His debut is not just for Saturday afternoons at Everyday People, the popular dance party celebrating the black diaspora; it’s also made for voltaic raves, psychedelic highs, and steamy trysts. Different envisions a Western world that doesn’t relegate African and Caribbean sounds solely to warm weather and tropical vacations. With a six-song survey of African electronic music’s boldest and shiniest new ideas, GuiltyBeatz begins to draw the lines of a more interconnected future.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
GuiltyBeatz - Different EP Music Album Reviews GuiltyBeatz - Different EP Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 Rating:

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