Daily Thoughts

5 Albums & EP’s To Check Out

The first half of the year is drawing to a close and thought I’d reflect on some of my favourite releases so far. I think that the 5 projects below are the best we have on offer in terms of their execution. Without further a due, I present my 5 picks from the first half of 2022.

Halo Yagami – Usiba EP

A true definition of Afrofusion, Halo Yagami’s Usiba EP blends influences of African traditional soundscapes with rhythms of Kwaito, and Western genres like Hip Hop and R&B. The 11-minute offering sees Halo Yagami call on Marcus Harvey and Maglera Doe Boy to assist in bringing his Kwaito fusion vision life with ‘My Money’ and ‘Gologo’ being the songs where influences of the genre can be most felt.

Namakau Star – Landing EP

Namakau Star’s Landing EP is the definition of maturity. The Vibe Goddess transports us to a different plain through her spaced-out neo-soul sound. ‘Floating’ is a transcendental 4-minute journey about self-discovery and self-acceptance – themes that are prevalent throughout the EP. Landing is an illustration of Namakau Star’s mastery of her sound and she broadened my perspective on the number of ways the genre can be interpreted.

Victony – Outlaw Album

Afrobeat has always been an explorative genre but Victony’s Outlaw pushes the envelope of the genre-fluid music landscape of today’s music listener. Perhaps the greatest aspect of Outlaw is its construction. It’s built for modern listeners and slowly eases you into more native Nigerian sounds as you progress. By the end of the album, you don’t even realise that you are in the depths of an unapologetic brand of Afrobeat. Special.

ZULO – Talk To Me Naace EP

ZULO’s Talk To Me Naace is easily the best-produced project on this list but that isn’t the main reason behind its presence on my top 5. There is a genuine storyline to be followed in your journey of ZULO’s documentation of his life up till this point. Talk To Me Naace is part of a bigger ZULO cinematic universe that is told through the personification of Trix The Bunny, much like Kanye West did with Dropout Bear.

SimulationRxps – Live From Elokshin Album

Reporting live from the jungle, we have SimulationRxps’ Live From Elokshin Album. If I were to have an early contender for album of the year, I would put my bet on this album. Live From Elokshin is a cinematic capsule of culture. The whole premise of Kwaito was to create something unique, and Kwaito legends of yesteryear didn’t create music with the aim of appealing to a ‘broad’ audience. It was a raw authentic experimentation of sounds that became a soundtrack to a period in our country. SimulationRxps’ Live From Elkoshin is not an attempt to duplicate the sound, but rather is an authentic presentation of the sounds that raised SimulationRxps.

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