It is safe to say that Kabinyo has been building up to this album release, slowly and surely, honing his craft and waiting for the perfect moment. Running through a series of hip-hop and Synthwave inspired releases, from instrumental projects to this year’s collaboration with Blemjin on the EP Android Zero, Art in a Void is the result of someone steadfastly learning their craft and knowing when the time is right to deliver the goods.
And deliver the goods it does, a poised and polished album and an eclectic expression of Kabinyo’s journey to date. The title track brings together dexterous hip-hop, deft and infectious rapped deliveries, synth washed soundscapes and all manner of genre-hopping sonic collisions…in the most constructive of ways.
There are some purely instrumental tracks, Kagoshima a collection of trippy, Day-Glo vibes and chilled dance grooves, the sound of the orient meeting and mingling with the occident, musical traditions from one side of the world dancing with the digital potential of the other. There are trap-infused, skittering rap salvos such as Ocean Drive, dark intensity courtesy of Menace and electronic dreamscapes such as the shimmering and slightly offbeat Hyperspace Nights, one part soundtrack to the stars, one part futuristic nightclub chillout from a time yet to come.
It’s a cool album, one that switches its nature from track to track, which welcomes musical adventure and sonic reinvention, which doesn’t dwell on the past but looks to the future, not content to run with the pack but instead found standing on the shoulders of giants.
A famous man once said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” I’m not sure if you would exactly say that Kabinyo is in the gutter but he is not only looking at the stars but he is looking far beyond what the rest of us are able to see.