With sharper edges, elevated sound design and a new posse of collaborators, MALAKAI comes correct on his fourth EP, Odd Views. It’s been more than two years since the New York City-based producer first released with The Rust, but in some ways it feels like a lifetime ago.
On these four tracks it’s plain to hear that MALAKAI’s sound design and songwriting have improved and his intent has sharpened. The sonic material itself isn’t revolutionary, but the subtle ways he moves and shapes the sounds gives attitude to the songs. Strong as ever is MALAKAI’s ability to communicate a feeling with melody, harmony, and note choice. Only now, the feelings are different. He’s deviated ever so slightly from his usual earthy, acoustic, mystical motifs. The void that remains is filled with something grittier, more urban, more direct.
His friends have changed, too, It’s reflected in the posture of this EP, which features Thought Process, pheel., and cuts from Bogtrotter. These producers, who are heavily influenced by hip-hop, deliver great bounce and buoyancy on their features. It’s still MALAKAI’s signature sound – grazing along, moving forward with swing and without haste. Not quite glitch hop, not quite dub, not quite hip-hop, but a home brew with all these ingredients. The edges are again sharper, the movements more crisp. There’s less to think about and more to groove on.
Released October 29, 2019