Don’t Know Why – Speedy2x (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Some people use auto-tune and other sonic tricks to fix failings in their vocal delivery, Speedy2x uses it to great wonderful sonic textures, cascades of voice as an instrument, turning his gentle deliveries into a beguiling and other-worldly sound. This isn’t about fixing things, this is about building whole new sonic worlds to explore.

Don’t Know Why runs along on a trap groove, skittering percussion blending with spacious bass beats to build a platform, meandering electronica and even breezy brass blasts filling out the middle ground leaving the vocals to sit front and centre, taking the spotlight with confidence.

Rap and the hip-hop scene which it grew from has come a long way since those early days when South Bronx pioneers had to build the technology they needed to create the sounds that they had locked in their own minds. We may live in a much more technologically advanced world, a place where well-equipped studios are accessible to all but that doesn’t mean that you have to play by the rules. Speed2x’s vocal treatments are a clear case of not following the rules, of using one sound device to create new and unexpected results, something very much in keeping with those early urban traditions.

Artist often spend a long time trying to find influences in the past, of following the existing rules, of laying down similar templates. But that doesn’t really change much. It is being brave enough to try radical new approaches which really keeps music moving forward. Don’t Know Why is the sound of rap music moving forward. It infuses its core sound with R&B, chilled hip-hop and even echoes with pop accessibility, but its importance is that rather than looking back into music history to show where he has come from, Speedy2x instead looks to the future to show where he is going.

It is through such actions that the future of music gets written.

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