Mura Masa – Mura Masa
Release: 14th July 2017
Label: Polydor, Interscope
Producer: Mura Masa
Singles: LoveSick, 1 Night, All Around The World
Mura Masa is one of a few electronic musicians from the last few years to come out from the rafters with a fresh organic sound. His closely refined fusion of steel-drum infused electronica, with trap-nodding percussion, is often brought together with handpicked guest vocalists, spanning genres such as hip-hop, pop and grime. Mura Masa’s breakthrough came with the release of his debut album’s lead single- the ASAP Rocky-featuring LoveSick, and at just over a year and a half later, the 21-year-old producer’s self-titled album is finally amongst us.
The quality of Mura Masa shines through with the partnering of guest vocalists to beats, of which Masa has a real knack in crafting. Glistening chords, strums of steel pans, and shimmering hip-hop percussion, gel effortlessly with the likes of ASAP Rocky and Bonzai. NAO in particular also feels right at home, with prominent synth-pop electronica matching up to her vocals as fluidly as on her acclaimed project from this time last year. Unfortunately this can also be Mura Masa’s downfall, with a couple of guests hugely out of place, most applicably with the horror show that is All Around The World, further pushing Desiigner into the nether regions of one-hit-wonder. Charli XCX’s shrill punchy vocals also clatter against the beat of 1 Night, consuming the initially dainty sun-kissed production.
Mura Masa deserves credit for really chancing an organic sound, one that from memory, only Jamie xx has been tempted with in the past. A lot of Masa’s debut is absorbing, particularly with the more measured moments on the project, such as with the downtempo feel of Second 2 None, or one of the album’s highlights in the form of Who Is It Gonna B. In crafting a full project around an untried and untested new sound, Masa falls fowl to inconsistencies and often bleeds into out-of-reach genres that are easy to get wrong. A respectable release that certainly shows where Mura Masa’s heading, and that’s up.
Verdict – WWW