Released on Valentine’s Day, “Short” is the first single and formal introduction to UK-based producer, J Rick. While this might be considered his first solo outing, J Rick is most notably known through his work with Octavian as part of their collective, Essie Gang, previously producing “Party Here,” "Hands,” and “Lightning.” The video for “Short” — directed by Armin Druzanovic — is a conceptual piece looking to capture the essence of summer; scenes revolve around a house party, a half-pipe, and a general sense of thrill-seeking. It’s the perfect precursor for the warmer months to come. What’s more: last year, I described “Hands” as being somewhere between a James Blake and Mount Kimbie production, and “Short” holds true to that statement with a glitchy, samba-inspired, instrumental. Look out for J Rick’s upcoming mixtape, No Retreat No Surrender, coming out soon.
Octavian has been having quite an amazing year: he's released "Party Here," "100 Degrees," "Hands," "Little," and "Revenge" to the universal acclaim of fans and peers alike; received cosigns by Drake, Stormzy and A2; walked in Virgil Abloh's inaugural Louis Vuitton show while also having Abloh "design" the cover for his debut project; featured on Mura Masa's new single "Move Me"; and just recently signed with Sony/ATV and Stellar Song. In short, he's the new wunderkind of UK rap and he's capitalizing on all of the attention with his new breakthrough effort called Spaceman. Stream it here:
Effortlessly cool in everything he's involved with, A2 is like the Mahershala Ali of rap. His musical output might best be described as it "comes to him naturally" because he really is just smooth like that. Purple is his umpteenth EP providing listeners with a small vignette of what the Croydon rapper is capable of. It follows in the footsteps of last year's Blue wherein A2 introduced himself at length and his production and songwriting skills were showcased in full. Purple gives another good look at the uptempo and mellow stylings of one of south London's best. Stream it below:
A few weeks ago, Mura Masa released a nice likkle dance tune for the remainder of the summer featuring my new favourite artist Octavian.
More of a dance track than anything else, "Hands" is a song by London-based rapper Octavian that quite obviously has him singing and not rapping. Compared to his last two releases ("100 Degrees" and "Party Here"), it's a complete change in what you might've expected from the up-and-comer but not in his sound aesthetic. The emotion-evoking distortions are reminiscent of James Blake—or perhaps, more accurately, Mount Kimbie—combining gospel, soul, and electronic elements bubbling into a shuffling, bass-heavy, and dynamic production.