As Nosaj Thing, producer Jason Chung has worked with Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper, BADBADNOTGOOD and many more. He's been a revered figure in the L.A. beat scene for years, but takes his time refining his approach.
Chung has said he faced a personal and musical "identity crisis" during the making of this record, but was helped through it by the fruitful collaborations that went into it. Guest vocalists definitely add warmth and colour in their own ways, but Chung's true triumph is the resilience of his own original artistic voice here. His productions have always seemed clean and cool, guided by patience and an eye for detail.
"Nowhere" slides into your consciousness, with soft piano arpeggios and a muffled bass sound that make the grittier bass on the next song, "All Points Back to U" hit a little harder by comparison. "Form" feels like wandering a mirrored funhouse of synths until things open up for the melodic mansion of "How We Do" and you realize you were just in the lobby before. This is long-game stuff, not dictated by instant gratification whims.
"U G" and "Get Like" contain some of the darkest sounds on the record, but that mood is lifted over the last four tracks, including the luminous "Way We Were" (ft. Zuri Marley). One finely tuned detail is the sizzling hi-hats present in tracks two through six, before dropping out as the nebulous "TM" sets the stage for "Way We Were."
Nosaj Thing isn't just a brooding, melancholic minimalist, but an interior designer finding the perfect shade of white — not for some high-fashion contrivance, but for the psychological and emotional effects a colourful sunset will bring to it. (Innovative Leisure)