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Albums of the Year 2018: Kamaal Williams

Albums of the Year 2018: Kamaal Williams - The Return

The Return is a rich tapestry of visionary jazz woven together with the sounds and signals of South London Streets. Known for his critically acclaimed project as Yussef Kamaal on Brownswood and his more dancefloor-focused tracks as Henry Wu, Kamaal Williams' debut album opened the door wide for everyone to follow in his footsteps and step through to experience one of the most exciting musical movements 2018 has witnessed.

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Already regarded as a true figurehead within the new wave of jazz and the refreshed hip-hop beat scene that he has helped build from the start, Kamaal Williams has been an in-demand artist who has tirelessly and consistently perfected his craft as both Henry Wu and half of the Brownswood group Yussef Kamaal. Adding to the list of long sold out 12"s as Wu, it was with longtime supporter Gilles Peterson on the label side that Kamaal alongside Yussef Dayes created the now a modern-classic album Black Focus. A record that arguably captured the very best moments of improvised rhythmic jazz and cut it to wax, and in doing so gifted us with one of the decade's most widely adored albums. Now, some two years later Kamaal Williams has returned in solo mode with an album that not only builds on the very best elements of Black Focus but also surpasses it with some astonishing arrangements. The Return is an album that is both daringly progressive and funky yet ticks all the right boxes for those looking to dip into some cosmic, exploratory and effortlessly enjoyable visionary sounds.

Much like late-era 4 Hero and the current US connections of Kamasi Washington and Thundercat, Kamaal Williams is using the tones and textures of jazz as a jumping off point to explore a new era of street-level soul that is as equally influenced by the coolest corners of hip-hop. Looking out of the studio window toward the hustle and bustle of the London streets of which Kamaal and crew live and breathe, and backed with a wealth of knowledge and a record collection jam-packed with jazz, hip-hop, funk and fusion as well as some of the best house and techno. Kamaal Williams The Return is both a true step forward for the sound that Yussef Kamaal were progenitors of, yet also opens the door wide for us and everyone else following in his footsteps to step through and experience one of the most exciting musical movements London has had in years.

  • Catch The Loop 1
    Artist
    Kamaal Williams
    ReleaseProduct
    Catch The Loop 1
    Label
    Black Focus Records
    Catalogue Number
    BFRCTL1
    Release Date
    November 2018

    Kamaal Williams presents Catch The Loop 1, a sort of chopped 'n' screwed mixtape featuring elements from The Return blended in with other Kamaal Williams material that K15 found online, giving a perfect sense of the album's context and intentions...

    From spoken word segments where today's London sound is dissected into the various genres that make up the city's rich musical DNA, the snatches of radio-play are cut to a typically exceptional Kamaal Williams jazz, hip-hop, funk and fusion soundtrack. While on the second side, the keen-eared out there will instantly recognise Kamaal Williams, Dexter Hercules and Pete Martin's epic NTS live performance, recorded at Flesh and Bone Studios in July 2018.

    Read More
    1. 1 The Return Tape 13:00 K15
    2. 2 NTS Live Session 19:43 Kamaal Williams

Kamaal Williams presents Catch The Loop 1, a sort of chopped 'n' screwed mixtape featuring elements from The Return blended in with other Kamaal Williams material that K15 found online, giving a perfect sense of the album's context and intentions...

From spoken word segments where today's London sound is dissected into the various genres that make up the city's rich musical DNA, the snatches of radio-play are cut to a typically exceptional Kamaal Williams jazz, hip-hop, funk and fusion soundtrack. While on the second side, the keen-eared out there will instantly recognise Kamaal Williams, Dexter Hercules and Pete Martin's epic NTS live performance, recorded at Flesh and Bone Studios in July 2018.

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Black Focus returns with New Heights / Snitches Brew, The first new material from Kamaal Williams since his stunning debut album, The Return.

Featuring co-production from Don Leisure & Earl Jeffers aka Darkhouse Family, New Heights offers up a fresh spin of properly hypnotic hip-hop, while Snitches Brew melts wah wah psychedelia. To echo Kamaal’s friend and collaborator Yelfris Valdés, "This ain't jazz no more..."

Top 10 Albums of the Year 2018

View More: Top 10 Albums of the Year 2018
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