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Blue Lab Beats – Blue Eclipse

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    Posted: 18 Apr 2024 at 12:08pm
A dose of dancefloor eclecticism...
  
18 · 04 · 2024
 

Blue Lab Beats have never sought to place boundaries on their music. Embracing production in its most free-flowing guise, the pair – NK-OK and Mr DM – have built three albums that exude eclecticism, melting together jazz, club electronics, afrobeat, and more. Album No. 4 offers a ‘Blue Eclipse’, but unlike its titular namesake it won’t leave you in the shade – radiant musicality, Blue Lab Beats shake it up once more on an evolutionary statement.

It starts in bravura fashion. The follow-up to 2022’s ‘Motherland Journey’ kicks off with a fusion stepper, the electrifying ‘Never Doubt’ pinned down by Herbie Hancock keys and propulsive drumming. A sweat-drenched jazz dance session, it harks back to those formative Dingwalls sessions while retaining a future-facing vibe.

As ever with Blue Lab Beats, it takes a village to bring this album to fruition. The riveting ‘Say Wow’ finds the London production team aligning with IDK and Jay Prince, two Stateside heavy-hitters. A trans-Atlantic merger, the track is a real highlight, peppered with energy and vitality.

‘Rice & Peas’ dials it back to the London communities of their youth, while the Far East pairing ‘Night In Tokyo’ / ‘Cherry Blossom’ is dappled in detail, two examples of Blue Lab Beats’ painterly qualities within sound design.

A broad, wide-ranging album, ‘Blue Eclipse’ equally doesn’t shy from immediacy. The zesty ‘Guava’ is essentially a re-run of fan-favourite ‘Pineapple’ while taking those afrobeat and highlife aspects in a new direction, with a fresh cast of guests. Tailor-made for those epic live shows, it’s a ridiculously entertaining sunshine burner.

Advancing beyond the limitations of their catalogue, ‘Blue Eclipse’ finds the production duo once more engaging with unknown environs. Daring, experimental, and hugely addiction, Blue Lab Beats may just have delivered your summer soundtrack.

8/10

Words: Robin Murray


from www.clashmusic.com

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