German label, Jakarta Records, boasts a wealth of musical gems, rolling out the goods since 2005. Their latest offering is Winter in Jakarta, a continuation of the successful Summer in Jakarta compilation. Winter in Jakarta showcases new material from long-time favorites, like Oddisee and L'Orange, to introducing newer talent like Mura Masa and Singularis. The resulting product is a memorable mix of producers, rappers, and instrumentalists, and as I delved into the seamlessly compiled album, something decidedly stood out to me: This is all for the love of hip-hop (new, old, and blended).
To begin, we have Like (of Pac Div) rhyming over classic instrumentals in "Glory", and move on to Oddisee's "Clutch Shoot", where the drums are simply splendid. In "Streetlife," we have Juju Roger's raspy vocals and a flow that sweetly resembles J. Cole, but given old-soul warmth with Mic Donet's hook.
Then, there's Mura Masa with "The Way I Want U", getting us emotional, per usual. I really enjoy how he plays around with both low-pitched and high-pitched vocals, and with slow and upbeat tempos—continuing to show off his skillful dexterity. Iamnobodi brings back Kanye's "Bound 2," enhancing those fetching whimpers and giving it that foot-tapping kick.
Stwo's "Pandora" is arguably the most astounding melody on this project. He's constructed the perfect balance of cheery chimes and uplifting piano with deep, boiling drums. Craves changes it up, taking us through Yoshi's land in "Me & You," and, then, Benny Sings slows it down with "Straight Lines," dishing out his stellar vocals and some smooth-funk.
Asagaya, Jay Prince, and Guts come together in "Washy P," and this collaboration will have you begging for more, because it's on a divine Gorillaz level. To end, we unwind with multi-instrumentalist, Pat Van Dyke, and his uplifting jazz number, "Forrest St. Blue."
The beloved family at Jakarta is gifting us with this special installment for FREE. So, do what's good for you, and download 'Winter In Jakarta' here.
Thank you, Jakarta. My soul is quenched.
'Winter In Jakarta'
- February 9, 2015