We get so used to hip-hop’s core sound being used as a vehicle for hard-hitting, socially aware, sonic salvos and lyrical attacks that we forget that this is only one of many avenues down which it is possible to take the music. What if you took those same beats, and ways of sampling and styling the music and wove it around more ambient and exploratory sounds? This is exactly what Dama does on his latest album, the suitably titled Deep Thought.
Here he takes gentler grooves and supple beats and laces them through chilled out sounds. This purely instrumental collection meanders between the gentle industry of Robots Have Feelings Too with its hypnotic, relentless, production-line, drive to the spacious and elegant musical emotions of She Held Me Like A Child. Beyond What They Can See displays a trippy groove, defiantly standing outside the hip-hop box and If You Are Strong Then Why Are You Crying takes late night soul sounds and jazz refrains and gives them a wonderful new and contemporary lease of life.
Even with all other considerations aside it is a beguiling album, but when you see where Dama takes these long established sounds, how he dismantles them and rebuilds them into new and unexpected musical shapes, then you realise that there is something quite special going on here.
Link to the album:
Links to connect Dama: