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Album Review

by BadBadNotGood

Innovative Leisure

Review Date
18th August 2016
Reviewed by
Paul Larsen

As what is probably Toronto’s foremost instrumental jazz and experimental hip-hop four piece, BADBADNOTGOOD have carved out a unique lane for themselves. But while the band’s first three records have been primarily jazz orientated records with a sprinkling of the core elements of hip hop, the release of IV signals a shift towards a genuine fusion of the two styles.

The group has long been active in hip hop circles and has previously worked with various members of the Odd Future collective, Danny Brown, and even released the brilliant Sour Soul record with Ghostface Killah in 2015. Despite this breadth of influence, their own long players have tended to be relatively guest free and if not straight up jazz records, then certainly in the realms of such.

IV is different. The supporting cast on show here has fleshed out the band’s usually instrumental music and added another angle from which to approach. Cameos from the likes of Future Island’s Sam Herring (‘Time Moves Slow’) and Canadian producer, Kaytranda (‘Lavender’) provide some of the record's high moments, lending a voice to the music’s otherwise ambiguous intent. Rapper Mick Jenkins also lends his vocals to ‘Hyssop of Love’, in a paradoxically bubbly yet silky smooth outing which is reminiscent of some of Sour Soul’s highs.

Maybe it feels like more of a mixtape than a record and perhaps it could have been a little tighter, but overall this is a fantastic record. BBNG know rhythm, they play with confidence and sense of fun and it’s as infectious as it is adventurous.


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