Say what you will about an artist being ahead of their times or perfecting and reinterpreting past styles, there's nothing like an artist who can so perfectly articulate an art that so squarely fits within and represents the time that it was bore. For LAKIM, the Virginia-based producer who first started catching internets with his Esoteric EP, his debut album This Is Her is just that - a record that so perfectly speaks to the time and space in which it has come from. A record that effortlessly and gracefully mixes dashes of soul, hip-hop, R&B, downtempo, broken beats, and modern bass-heavy electronic music, This Is Her is both inviting and intoxicating.
No doubt one of the best releases already in 2014, the 12-track offering touches on numerous styles of current electronic music but it's misguided to think that this fits within any clear per-conceived definitions of style and sound. This is hardly surprising given LAKIM's previous standout efforts across number of styles and the fact that this album has come out via pioneering label, Soulection. What makes this project so special, and what ultimately elevates LAKIM above his peers, is the ability to expertly craft such a cohesive record. Yes, the tracks by themselves are dope - "Superb," "Tantric," "Contemplating," and "Pay What You Owe" are among my personal favorites - but it's listening to this record from front to back, either with that special someone or up in your headphones that you'll really start to appreciate this record.
It's this record's ever-present glow that really grabs the listener from the very beginning. We premiered the record's opening track "Need, Want" and it gives you a great taste of LAKIM's varied yet consistent production style. A wild ride with twists of footwork, bounces of future bass, twinkling synths, and choice sampling, This Is Her is a dualistic piece, at times delivering an understated smoothness and sophistication only to be balanced by a bounce that can only be described as euphoric, innocent - and underwater. LAKIM's glowing underwater soundscapes, punchy percussion and whipping snares tie the whole record together to make something that is at the very least, jazzy, delightful, and pure.
No doubt one of my favorite albums of 2014 already, LAKIM's 2014 is sure to be a banner year.