Music Review | posted 27.03.2020
Knxwledge
1988
Stones Throw, 2020
Text Stefan Mertlik
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Cover Knxwledge - 1988

Even though he won a Grammy, Knxwledge remains the nerdy beat hobbyist at heart, performing miracles with vintage samplers. Now with »1988« he releases his second album about Stones Throw. The 22 tracks on it reflect Knxwledge’s feeling for lo-fi and experimental hip-hop suitable for the masses. Without hiding their claim, the 37 minutes ripple away. Knxwledges strength lies in finding and connecting the right sound fragments. »1988« focuses on a consistently warm sound. Neither tangled drum loops nor wildly chopped samples interrupt the flow of sound. The Californian sets kicks and snares in – for hip-hop ears – nontypical places. This gives the music an analogue charm that otherwise only comes from a live drum set. Basically, »1988« is an instrumental record, but the many vocal samples create a different impression. Knxwledge cuts acapellas and lays them over his beats as if tailor-made. If it fits the mood better, he pitches the vocals in chipmunk spheres. In »dont be afraid« the virtual guest singer sounds like Michael in the times of the Jackson Five. Knxwledge proves in »listen« how economical this production method is. There, the 32-year-old samples a complete gospel choir, which lays itself over the soft drum loop as if it were a matter of course. The producer has already proven that he can not only create beats in a solitary way, by collaborating with Kendrick Lamar and Anderson Paak. On »1988« the Californian can’t let the insight into his complete skills be lost. The closing track »minding_my business« scratches the five-minute mark and impresses with a pop arrangement and specially recorded vocals.

You can find »1988« by Knxwledge in the HHV Records webshop: Vinyl LP | Vinyl LP Limited Edition | CD
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