After Popcaan released one of the best albums of the year so far, the thirst for new dancehall abounds. South London likely wouldn't be the first place you'd go looking, but producer/singer Palmistry's outsider take on the genre is excellent. It's no coincidence the label that put out Poppy's album also released Palmistry's first single "Catch," at the end of 2013. Today they're back with a new one.
In his latest single "Protector SE5," Palmistry's voice is as soft and tender as they come, and every bit as emotive as a ballad. His crisp, clean production is the biggest departure from dancehall's dirty, raucous rhythms, but somehow he doesn't lose that sense of abandon essential to the genre.
Born Benjy Keating, Palmistry isn't strictly a dancehall producer, his work traverses cumbia, zumba reggaeton, and Chilean hip-hop. Like many of South London's electronic musicians, he got his start making lo-fi dubstep, garage and R&B. People started paying attention in 2012 after Hippos in Tanks put out NXB, an EP by Cantonese-language MC,Vinh Ngan AKA Triad God, which Palmistry produced in full. The duo's still working together and dropped their latest "So Pay La," yesterday.
He's also part of a crew of artists and musicians including producers SOPHIE,Felix Lee and Felicita who use London shop Primitive as home base. Charmingly enough, Palmistry's first live performance was at the boutique; he did a falsetto Whitney Houston cover.