Sampha steps out of the shadows, releasing his long-awaited first full-length on Young Turks. Even though it’s rare for any artist to have built such a strong reputation prior to their debut album, given the five years of collaboration with UK contemporaries (FKA twigs, Jessie Ware, SBTRKT) and international superstars (Drake, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Solange) alike, this should come as no surprise.
Produced by Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, King Krule) and the South London artist himself, Process further establishes Sampha as an exceptional songwriter. Albeit clearly rooted in contemporary R&B and hip hop with its slow beats and lush vocal arrangements, Sampha adds his idiosyncratic touch by toying with the genres' song structures and expanding their musical pallet. Unexpected twists occur in his rich instrumentals, introducing surprising harmonic shifts (‘Blood on Me’) and galloping percussion (‘Kora Sings’), while his characteristic sweet falsetto voice runs like a golden thread through these ever evolving compositions. His breathy vocals cover a large range, and in moments like ‘(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano’ and ‘Take Me Inside’, which bear the signature of his 2013 piano works ‘Too Much’ and ‘Happens’, they echo the soft noise of the piano recording, showing Sampha in his most primal form.