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10 albums you should listen to this week

This week, Muzi sets his sights on space while Headie One and Ray BLK look back to their past. David Walters remixes his latest album, while Vanyfox, Makossiri and XXIII explore club music. Lucasrap and Kid X rap their best verses, while Ycee spins a tale of love. 

Interblaktic

Muzi

Interblaktic is a continuation of Muzi’s exploration of African space, a theme already touched upon in his 2018 Afrovision, released under the artist’s alter ego, the “Zulu Skywalker.” The album is firmly rooted in the present and in the philosophy of Afronowism, which emphasizes the fact that African artists should be considered great now, not just in the future. Optimistic, uplifting and otherworldly, the project chronicles a journey to Mars, a return home and a realisation of the importance of love. “When I was just a kid, I was obsessed with anything that had to do with space and stars,” the producer told PAM in an upcoming interview. “And then when I started getting into music, I gravitated towards music that had that sort of theme. Hence the whole electronic thing.”

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Too Loyal for My Own Good

Headie One

The title of Headie One’s fourth solo mixtape, Too Loyal for My Own Good, first arose in conversation between the Tottenham MC and his sister — keeping up the family theme after he dedicated his 2020 debut album, EDNA, to the memory of his late mother. The project trades in painful memories and laments the misfortunes of those around him in a process that serves to better grasp his own nature. Guided by truthful self-dialogue and immersed in familiar production (Quincytellem, M1onthebeat, The Elements), Headie One is driven by settling old scores (“2 Chains”) and the need to outgrow the much-publicized issues of his past (“PTSD”), while also rejecting the trappings of his rising fame (“Nothing to Me”). 

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Volume 10

XXIII

In Portugal, this Friday marks the reopening of clubs. It is therefore with a certain amount of excitement that the XXIII team gets ready to return to the decks and re-experience nighttime effervescence. To mark the occasion, the Porto-based label will release a new compilation this week, their tenth since their 2015 debut. The project takes the form of a love declaration, heralding the diversity of “club music.” Like their previous compilations, entirely dedicated to 150 BPM funk,  Megatron and two sub-genres of Brazilian funk, this new chapter will offer a wide panel of what the Portuguese electronic scene has to offer, with international as well as native producers.

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Juicy Juicy

Makossiri

Kenyan DJ and producer Makossiri drops her debut EP together with a video for the track “Juicy Juicy.” Released on the prestigious Nyege Nyege and Hakuna Kulala labels, the EP features a collaboration with Alexandria based synth maestro Yunis. Drawing on Egyptian mythology, Afrofuturism and radical politics, Makossiri impresses with an unhinged rattle of pneumatic techno, industrial noise, post-punk and experimental club sounds. Fractured East African experimental club cuts like “Lifeline” and “Moving On” are incredibly propulsive, with seismic, dancefloor-demolishing bass and awkward, robotic synths meeting in almost ceremonial grandeur.

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Love Drunk

Ycee

On Love Drunk, Ycee memorializes the different phases of a blossoming romance through focused reflection. The Afro-fusion star details his storytelling with pointed clarity throughout the project, pondering forgiveness on “My Ways,” gently riding smooth waves on “Intentionally” and promising total devotion to a romantic interest and celebrating the warmth of love on “West Indies.” The mood here grows more intense, giving way to the braggadocious confidence of “Nu Riddim” and a sweltering reunion between Ycee and Patoranking (“Aunty Lovina”) that closes out the project. 

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031 To The World

Lucasraps

On his debut album, Lucasraps creates a space for the edginess he displayed on his early works to play out. Paying homage to his Durbanite upbringing, with all its trials and triumphs, 031 To The World fuses hardcore rap and raw energy “(“Lucas Raps,” “Preach”) with more melodic, laid-back vibes that see him bare his emotions (“Mud”). Productions features local new-age hip-hop heavyweights like Gemini Major, Christer, and Vaughn Fourie.

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Nocturne Remixes

David Walters

A few months on from the release of David Walters’ acclaimed Nocturne album, the Marseille singer/songwriter’s penchant for creative reinvention is on full display on a new EP that features DJs and producers from Europe and the Caribbean. Whereas Nocturne was deeply introspective and meditative, the EP is all about contrasting voices and visions, remixing and spanning the globe. It features a stable of DJs and producers from France (Folamour, Synapson, Patchworks/Voilaaa, Woodini); Germany (Henrik Schwarz); Portugal (Batida), Netherlands (Pushin Wood) and Guadeloupe (Déni-Shain, Mister Francky).

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Crazy Times

Vanyfox

In these five tracks, composed during the first confinement as a form of therapy, the Luso-Angolan DJ and producer conveys messages of hope as well as self-denial. Through melodic and summery batida sounds, in the vein of his recent compositions (Enchufada, 99Ginger compilations), Vanyfox continues to tap into dancefloor culture , elegantly combining Portuguese and Angolan influences. Close to the Moonshine collective, the producer releases this project on Boukan Records, managed by the Parisian party activist Bamao Yendé. 

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Father of Zen

Kid X

Father of Zen is South African rapper Kid X’s third studio album. The project reflects the journey and the artist’s state of mind as well as discussing healing, awareness and mindfulness. Over 13 tracks, it allows his fans to share in his most personal experiences – the birth of his daughter, his relationship with his wife and the experience of fatherhood. “I definitely think I went into this project with a bit more mindfulness to create a conscious level of things I want to see when the world gets out of the current set. It’s going to take artists to give hope to the voiceless,” he stated in a forthcoming interview.

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Access Denied

Ray BLK

Access Denied captures a confident artist no longer phased by external noise, refusing to give time to those who don’t match her energy. Previous releases Durt and Empress lived at the intersections between R&B, soul, and hip-hop, but this feels like a true crossover project — charged by 808s and trap beats over a blend of rap lyricism and sultry vocals. With this confidence comes a willingness to be vulnerable, and tracks including “25” and “Baggage” act as frank confessionals. The temes evoked range from her mother receiving abuse from her father to the rage following a heartbreak, toxicity and Black positivity. 

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