NOD NAVIGATORS (KSNN10, 12” + digital)
Dom Sum and Fine Art, founding members of the LuckyMe family, have decided to go horizontal on their debut release as The Blessings, giving up the banging beat, the stuttering and congestion of the wonky school, to give way to more “musical” textures on which the hyper-synthetic melody prevails. They like to refer to themselves as rap noir, although there’s not too much rap to be found here (some lo-fat boom bap intros, some crunk-like bases) and the sonic palette prefers artificial light over darkness. “Ariseee Henson” opens with calm key strokes that refer in equal parts to the synthesised pop of the 80’s, New Jack Swing and the melodic intricacies of jazz fusion, and although the beat is notable at times and starts a dynamic close to atmospheric drum’n’bass, the tune evolves without any jumps nor shrillness. “Fabergé” is a bit more toned and unruly, with its fluttering synths, sexy vocal skits and 8-bit pollution to a beat that has more agile intentions, though the track as a whole suffers a bit from a somewhat empty synthetic sound and is maybe a bit plain.
In spite of its unquestionable attraction, “Keith Sweats” ( a tribute of little over a minute consisting of poor talk box imitations, bland beats and synthetic spirals that could pass for a hypnagogic reinterpretation of an old 808 State tune) and “Hot Song” (a reserved, synthetic ditty halfway between the cosmic tradition, fine IDM and astral hip-hop) give the impression they’re not quite finished, that there’s still some polishing to be done, that they need to develop a little bit more, which makes “Moranis Riding Ants” shine even brighter. In this hybrid fantasy state, border-hopping between hip-hop and garage, acid house and artcore, the mind is under siege by the ghosts of raves past. All in all, we have six suggestive cuts, which are focussed more on the bedroom than the club, and with which The Blessings are starting to mark their own space in the beat arena.
Luis M. Rguez
The Blesings . Moranis Riding Ants
The Blesings . Ariseee Henson