Printed Jan 28, 2021
Nostalgia would not appear an particularly becoming title for the first retrospective instrumental assortment from Beatchild, beforehand generally known as Slakah the Beatchild, then Beatchild & the Slakadeliqs. In any case, the Sarnia-born musician, emcee, vocalist, producer and songwriter born Byram Joseph has crafted a completely singular and seamless fusion of hip-hop, R&B, funk and psychedelic vibes over the previous twelve years, defying categorization. Beatchild effortlessly blends genres and eras so proficiently that any ‘retro’ categorizations appear lazy, if not fatuous.
Composed of instrumental cuts of tracks from albums launched on British hip-hop label BBE (Soul Movement Vol. 1, Soul Movement Vol. 2 and Heavy Rockin’ Steady), Nostalgia: Beats of 2008 – 2020 correctly eschews chronology in favor of an innate sense of groove, really feel and texture, giving full focus to every beat’s easily languid and soulful manufacturing.
“California Coastin’ 2.0” opens the set like a dive into heat water, an inviting dip into heat psych-funk, a sly reminder to followers of his Soul Motion collection to not sleep on his Slakadeliqs releases earlier than easing into the hypnotic and layered “Really feel That Music,” setting the aura for Beatchild’s sonic journey forward. “Byram’s Groove (Minimize a Rug)” and “When The Evening Stood Nonetheless” are simply essentially the most accessible cuts right here. The previous is an invigorating funk joint whereas the latter is a spacey and atmospheric slice of addictive, nocturnal hip-hop. Elsewhere, “Butta Fats Vibes,” “Residing for the Rush” and “Ain’t Nothing Like Hip Hop” radiate jazzy, infectious power.
Beatchild’s extra adventurous explorations are given ample showcase as nicely. “The Solely Distinction” is a sunny, lysergic summertime daydream with an endearing synthesizer hook, whereas his psychedelic leanings shine brightest on “The Treatment,” an analog surprise of fuzzed-out electrical guitar, grooving backbeat and classic keyboard magic. There are a number of surprises within the type of unreleased cuts that, whereas not particularly revelatory, nonetheless match properly. The finely blunted “Soul Backyard” will get your head nodding whereas “House Stroll” is a chic, sparsely orchestrated detour.
With a Juno nomination, collaborations with Drake, Divine Brown, Shad, Tanika Charles and too many else to say in addition to a fervent worldwide following, it would not appear that there’s something Beatchild cannot do or do nicely. The proof is in his grooves.