If there is such a thing as urban music, if that isn’t in itself too broad a term to have any real meaning (like most genres, to be fair), then perhaps hddn Snd, the latest album from c h i is a good representation of it.

Incorporating elements of hip-hop and soul, R&B and rap, Afrobeat and even pop, it is an album which takes everything that is great about these more urban-based sounds and boils them down to their very essence. And suppose you are used to the sounds that such genres are built on as mainly digital constructs, built on beats and samples. In that case, you will be pleasantly surprised to hear all manner of traditional analogue sounds running through the songs, from chiming pianos to tribal beats to breezy brass amongst the building blocks.

People think that music has to be striving to move forward constantly, but whilst this is undoubtedly a forward-thinking album, I believe that its real value is in c h i’s ability to gather all manner of scenes and styles around him and really broaden the urban musical experience.

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