Exclaim!'s Top 27 Albums of 2016 So Far



2. Kaytranada
99.9%
(XL)

Its title suggests that Kaytranada's debut album remains unfinished, but 99.9% feels about as definitive a statement as we hoped to hear from the Montreal producer. His strength comes from an ability to absorb sounds — hip-hop, R&B, electronic — and filter them through his own sonic worldview, spitting out tracks buoyed by an ineffable sense of familiarity.

While the instrumentals are the record's backbone, his collaborations with other artists are where the producer's talent really shines. BADBADNOTGOOD, Syd (from the Internet) and even Craig David all possess unique artistic voices, yet Kaytranada allows their talents to come to the forefront without overshadowing his own artistic intentions. Neither side dominates, and the songs — and the album as a whole — are stronger for it.

The work of a singular mind pulling disparate sounds into his own orbit, 99.9% is a grand statement that nevertheless feels like the tip of the iceberg of Kaytranada's capabilities.
Ian Gormely