Draco Bang is truly an artist who sums up this modern, post-genre musical age that is being ushered in. I remember a time when music, and the people who followed it, were divided into tribes. You were one thing or another – a goth or a punk, into rap or indie, a rocker or a disco diva – and “never the twain shall meet.” Thankfully, those days are behind us and for the current generation of music makers, the rulebook has been ripped up, the barriers between sounds and styles kicked to the ground, the lines of demarcation between genres trampled into dust.
So it is only in the current musical climate that an album such as Note 2 Self could have been made. The reason? Because it is constantly shifting between sound and style, genre and tribe and it is exactly what music needs to be able to move forward. Something that would have been unthinkable a generation ago.
Truth & Lies, which opens the album, gives the listener a hint of the brilliantly unexpected musical machinations which are about to follow. A deft and dexterous rap onslaught underpinned by cascading acoustic guitars, chiming musical motifs turning urban soundscapes into something more unique, something more beguiling.
Drunk In Luv is a more conventional rap delivery but the trumpet that weaves and wanders below the song’s surface adds a strange haunted, Latin element to it, taking it out of the usual musical fare and into its own world. Then there are songs such as Blame (Interlude) which feel like a classical acoustic artist embracing a more urban sound, rather than the other way around. Though I’m sure there is an element of each in the DNA of this album.
Songs such as Tony Stark are the perfect collision points between the two worlds. Sweet, understated guitars shimmer and shine and slowly this gorgeous sound is cocooned by skittering trap beats and deep bass pulses and the result is a strange concoction that sits between rap and world music, between pop and a hard place.
Note 2 Self rounds off with the deft and delicate Starstruck, again a perfect blend of choice acoustica and the sound of the streets, but here infused with soul-pop vibes to soften the edges.
It’s an album which leads rather than follows. You will recognise the sonic elements that go into it, and the musical building blocks will be familiar but what Draco Bang does so brilliantly here is having deconstructed modern, and not so modern, music he puts those elements back together in new and fascinating ways to build this revolutionary sonic architecture. Draco Bang is the sound of not only the here and now but the sound of music moving forward.