Published Feb 01, 2017Compilation discs rarely feature a label's best work, and even when the material is strong, stylistic differences usually make for uneven listening. But with Young Are Sound, showcasing Young Art Records, Los Angeles electronic/R&B producer TOKiMONSTA has put out a cracking exception to that rule.
Launched in 2014, her crowd-funded label features a world-class stable of artists, all cut from the same cloth as their classically trained leader. TOKiMONSTA's own "Put It Down," with its understated marching band drum track and unshakeable keyboard hook, is an obvious highlight and an early tone-setter. The track is featured with a slamming vocal by Anderson .Paak and then again later as an instrumental featuring KRANE. In a more tasteful world, it would enjoy heavy rotation on pop music stations worldwide.
There isn't much filler here. "Wildcat" by A l l i e stands out for its old-school, soulful vocal, as does Mike Gao's "Ivory," with its respectful nod to the 1970s-era rub-a-dub style.
There's a crisp pop sensibility to this material, so despite minor missteps (Gavin Turek's "Surrender" may be a bit saccharine for some ears), there's a sense that there are future gems to come from this label. Don't be surprised if Young Art Records is behind a string of club hits before the decade is out. (Young Art Records)