As we (in the Northern Hemisphere) slowly come out of the cold times, I think it be only fair that we set a soundtrack to pre-empt the sweet, sweet warmer days we've so greatly earnt. Alas, here's a free album from California's SLik d called Midnight Vibes. It's presented as a free download via Bandcamp in conjunction with Apple Juice Break, LRGR Thn Lfe and The Soul Dojo.
Midnight Vibes is a 14-track laid back hip-hop album with SLik d on both the production and emcee/singing duties, but it also features production and co-production from quite a few others, including; Megan, Cam, Hi-Res, Polyester, Fresh Chuck, Bagir, Bhonstro, Two3, Euphonic, Decline, Elaquent, Nefarious! and Danny Perez. You'd be forgiven for not being familiar with many, or any, of those names - but I happen to think that's a very encouraging thing indeed. It shows there are still a lot of talented people out there putting in the graft and trying to establish themselves in the game. So, next time you hear someone say that there's nothing new or decent happening in hip-hop, you can point them in the direction of this post.
Considering that pretty much every track on this release has a differing production credit, it is more like a mixtape or a showcase release - and that's pretty much how it is presented, by all accounts. It's like a taster, a little peak into the world of SLik d and to be honest, I like what I see. Stylistically his sound straddles a line between laid back hip-hop and neo-soul, but there's a refreshing innocence to the music. No pretensions or fronting, just generally pretty damn happy sounds. It's definitely something to lay back and chill to and I'll definitely be banging this out as we approach the lighter evenings and (hopefully) warmer days.