Shafiq Husayn — The Loop (March 29, 2019)
Location: Los Angeles, United States
Album release: March 29, 2019
Record Label: Eglo Records
01. The Flood feat. Silka 4:15
02. May I Assume feat. Jimetta Rose & Fatima 4:37
03. My~Story Of Love / Starring You 5:35
04. DMT (The Whill) 3:07
05. Between Us 2 feat. Bilal 5:16
06. Mrs Crabtree feat. Erykah Badu, N’Dambi & Aset SoSavvy 5:23
07. On Our Way Home feat. Fatima & Jimetta Rose 5:37
08. Walking Round Town feat. Silka 3:19
09. Cycles feat. Hiatus Kaiyote 3:49
10. Message In A Bottle feat. Coultrain 3:36
11. Its Better For You feat. Anderson .Paak 4:13
12. Show Me How You Feel feat. Karen Be 4:55
13. Hours Away feat. Om‘Mas Keith & Coultrain 4:38
14. Twelve feat. The Dove Society 4:12
15. Picking Flowers feat. El Sadiq 3:47
16. Optimystical feat. Robert Glasper 4:36
17. New Worlds Over 4:41Description:
• The Loop’ is the new LP by Los Angeles based polymath Shafiq Husayn, an epic project which saw its inception in 2012 through a series of studio sessions at Shafiq’s home, including collaborations with the likes of Thundercat, Erykah Badu, Flying Lotus, Bilal and Anderson Paak. Amongst a close knit circle of friends and family the golden tones of The Loop were created, deeply rooted in ideas of song, story, history, guidance and spirituality. The album bumps, jumps and jangles through progressions in jazz, hip hop, soul and funk, following on from his debut album ‘Shafiq En’ A~Free~Ka’ and adding further to his rich history of timeless, unique music. On The Loop past, present and future are brought together through a psychedelic concoction of time traveling drum machines, celestial string sections and trails of synthesizer vapour. Inflections of Sly Stone, Pharaoh Sanders and Earth Wind And Fire traverse with Marley Marl and Dilla~esqe drums making for an organic yet LA~trifying experience.
• Shafiq has brought together an impressive array of LA’s musical royalty, enlisting the likes of Thundercat, Miguel Atwood~Ferguson, Kamasi Washington, Chris ‘Daddy’ Dave, Eric Rico, Coultrain, Computer Jay, Jimetta Rose, Om’Mas Keith, Kelsey Gonzalez, I~Ced and more to provide the backbone to his recording sessions. Drawing in features from an international cast of performers and artists like Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper, Hiatus Kaiyote, Fatima and Karen Be amongst others. Now complete and finally ready for release in 2019 The Loop is truly something to behold. The records is accompanied by a series of paintings by acclaimed Japanese visual artist Tokio Aoyama, who worked in tandem with Shafiq to create a painting for each song on the record.
• This album features contributions from Erykah Badu, Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Hiatus Kaiyote, Bilal, Robert Glasper, Coultrain, Chris ‘Daddy’ Dave, I~Ced, Anderson Park, Miguel Atwood~Ferguson, Jimetta Rose, Fatima, Computer Jay, Medlodious Fly, Kamasi Washington, Eric Rico, Kelsey Gonzalez, Sunny Bey, Nia Andrews, Joseph Leimburg, Camille Martinez, Seven Davis Jnr, Jose Rios, Julian Lee, Itai Shapiro, Vicky Nyguen, Ivory Turner, Brian Hargrove, Om’Mas Keith, Dave Otis, Wes Singerman and more...REVIEW
BY JOHN~PAUL SHIVER, APRIL 15, 2019. ALBUM OF THE WEEK
• Shafiq Husayn — a member of the LA~based Sa~Ra Creative partners — has produced music for Erykah Badu and earned a Grammy for his work on Robert Glasper’s breakthrough album Black Radio. “Glorious”, Sa~Ra’s 2006 sticky aquatic jam, featured slumped beats, expansive shiny synths pushing through the ceiling and off~kilter falsetto vocals cutting surface noise like diamonds: presented energy, otherwise known as future soul, a continuation of the funk Parliament alluded to while your parents were doing the bump.
• The Loop, Husayn’s first solo album in a decade, continues in the progressive lane with obsessed over horn arrangements, vocal runs, and oblique choices. Essentially it’s a set of orchestrated soul, chopped up ’70s jazz~fusion and synthy new wave fussy R&B joints from an all~star cast of Shafiq’s deep bench of prominent collaborators. Mostly, but not particularly, veterans an up and comers from the burgeoning LA jazz/soul/electronic music set. So yes, there is an updated Soulquarian~hang vibe idealism meets old school Quincy Jones~Mellow Madness and The Dude~black excellence on display here.
• Where Solange deconstructed R&B on When I Get Home earlier this year, Husayn constructs his long~awaited follow~up to 2009’s Shafiq En’ A~Free~Ka with self~described “spaced~out funk, raw neo~soul, free jazz, hip~hop beats, and electronic elements.” This is Micro by Macro enhancing. Painting with Hi~Def watercolors that drip with purpose. A project, seven years in the making, it feels ultramodern and hits on~time like an eclectic booster shot of optimism. Created with modernity for outliers seeking refuge from the extra~ness happening in the world every day.
• Like Mr. Jones, Husayn and his contributors see Black music as a community, an ongoing conversation that heals, not sells. Husayn lets that deep cosmic baritone hot potato various duties. Taking leads, blending into backing vocal duties, lending his Emcee skills to the El Sadiq stunner “Picking Flowers,” Shafiq gets his Russell Westbrook flex right, doing whatever needs to be handled. When you have Jimetta Rose, Coultrain, Erykah Badu, Fatima, Anderson .Paak, Hiatus Kaiyote, Robert Glasper, Thundercat, Bilal, Flying Lotus, I~Ced and so many more rotating in and out, holding down their corners, don’t overstep. Let talent be talented.
• From the machine automated sound design of “On Our Way Home,” Fatima and Jimetta Rose locate gaps for their electric~like vocals to fill to the sideshow icky thump of “DMT (The Whill)” loaded with swirly chord fluctuation of background choruses, giving a circus wheel sensation while random beeps go off intermittently.
• Listen, man…Pop music doesn’t get down this way. Like chunky peanut butter cutting through basic white bread, it’s ill~equipped. “Mrs. Crabtree,” the sing~song roasting of our educational system that constantly whitewashed history to the youth continues this format with Erykah Badu leading the charge over some dense ’70s fusion funk concoction. It’s a palette of modal tones, filled with keyboard flourishes, trumpet riffs, and captivating bass patterns, that pins your ear between a Headhunters moment and a humid West London DJ set by Dego.
• The Loop was not designed for the masses, and that’s OK. Cause it was made for us.
Shafiq Husayn — The Loop (March 29, 2019)