As the dulcet and relaxed tones of the opening track, IntroduCt, take us by the hand and lead us into the album, you can hear the obvious hip-hop and rap core sounds on which the album is based. But the more exciting aspect is the other sounds and styles that make themselves known right from the start, sounds that mark this album to be something more than just the same old styles being reworked.
Lazy soul vibes, skittering trap beats and ambient electronica all raise their head. There is even room for some free-jazz interludes and funky vibes. And that is what keeps scenes moving, the fact that you can see what the artist is tipping his hat to, past glories, formative sounds and classic styles, from rap to hip-hop to soul but also going way beyond such urban genres. But the essential thing is how those tried and tested sounds are merged with cutting-edge sonics and even fused with genres they have no business hanging around with.
Studio is an almost folk-rap cross-over, all acoustic guitars and dexterous word salvos, meandering soulful basslines and deft literary flows and Windows (oh yes, each track is the name of a room, a fixture or fitting of a living space…this really is “house” music…geddit?) indulges in some smooth and sophisticated jazz lines, playing with the sounds of muted trumpet and chiming pianos. Pink Room is a beautiful blend of urban confidence and an almost island vibe cool.
Imaginary Ceilings is the sound of the next chapter of urban music being written. It ignores genres, blends styles, builds new sonic structures and creates new takes on established sounds. That is how you make the sound of tomorrow. That is how you move music on.