Music by VICE

Stream of the Crop: 6 New Albums for Heavy Rotation

Surprise projects from Future and Meek Mill, and some slow, dreamy synth projects make up this week's essential listening.

by Colin Joyce
Jul 6 2018, 4:01pm

Meek Mill photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images / Future photo by Josh Brasted/WireImage

Every week, the Noisey staff puts together a list of the best and most important albums, mixtapes, and EPs from the past seven days. Sometimes it includes projects we’ve written about on the site already; sometimes it's just made up of great records that we want everyone to hear, but never got the chance to write about. The result is neither comprehensive nor fair. We hope it helps.

Meek Mill - Legends of the Summer

Meek Mill’s first proper release after his release from prison in April is a well-earned celebration in the form of the four-track EP Legends of the Summer. The tracks are largely built around rib-cage-rattling basslines seemingly crafted to threaten the structural integrity of the cars that’ll be blasting this through open windows for the rest of the year’s warm months. Guest stars make flashy appearances amidst the fiery productions (Jeremih proves an especially endearing counterpart on “Dangerous”). But the draw here is catching Meek in victory lap mode, nimbly tracing the societal structures that led to his incarceration—and those of so many people like him—while triumphantly touting his overcoming. It’s joyful, and when he twists a Beatitude to suggest that it is he who stands to inherit the whole earth, I’m inclined to believe him.

Future - Beastmode 2

Khotin - Beautiful You

The dreamy loops and circuitous arpeggios contained in the Vancouver musician Dylan Khotin-Foote’s new tape Beautiful You could house some sort of mystery. These sorts of cloudy, formless works often do. But the title here more or less suggests the uncomplicated optimism inherent to Khotin’s newest work which, like so many dewy-eyed composers of instrumental music that have come before, uses those swoony synth lines to create spaces for self-care. It’s a cliché that music like this can be meditative, but Beautiful You’s returns to familiar sounds and phrases can almost feel mantra-esque. You can sit and stew in it, and if you’re lucky emerge from it as your best self.

Rizzla - Adepta

"[Rizzla] channeled what a press release calls this period of “personal apocalypse” into their debut full-length Adepta. Drawing on 'rural isolation, radical politics and gothic science fiction' as much as their history in dance music, the record is composed of 12 overwhelming pieces that layer dizzying synth melodies, chattering vocal samples, surreal raps, and other weaponized found sounds into these incredibly dense collages. Though Rizzla admits that part of the process of making the record was ultimately refining these tracks to draw them a little closer to the dancefloor, tracks like “Inquisition” bubble over and out of the gridlike arrangements that club music tends to favor, throwing sounds into every margin, scribbling into any blank space." — Rizzla's Collagist Club Album Is the Sound of Apocalypse and Rebirth

RP Boo - I’ll Tell You What!

The man responsible for so many of the foundational bricks of footwork ditches the archive-digging that’s marked his previous releases for Planet Mu and instead turns in his first ever full-length of completely new heaters. There’s as much gleeful experimenting here as there ever was on his older tracks, plus his choice of slivered vocals seem attuned to this particular moment in a way that feels fresh for his productions. This means that in the span of a couple tracks he can be extremely playful—like flipping a Brandy-featuring viral video into jagged acid-juke on the opener “No Body”—and extraordinarily serious (the grave intonation “We’re at war in these streets” forms the basis of the record’s skittering bass-bomb “At War”), and both tacts feel daring. Kicking off the cobwebs has served him well.

Pontiac Streator & Ulla Straus - Chat

The releases that have kicked off West Mineral Ltd., the new label from Brian Leeds (the man behind the acclaimed outlet for abstract electronics Huerco S., among a host of other monikers) have been united in their diffuseness. Even when they differ dispositionally, they seem to adopt similarly impressionistic approaches, favoring frequency ranges, instruments, and effects that to render precise melodies as misty approximations. It’s as if their records have been smeared onto the vinyl rather than cleanly cut. The imprint’s latest, a collaboration between Philadelphia’s Pontiac Streator (who also made an appearance on the Leeds’ record as Pendant) and the Chicagoan Ulla Straus, continues this trend, shrouding found samples and stomach-churning sub-bass in obtuse effects. But if the label’s other releases were to evoke the “behaviors” of water, Chat is more like the silt that gets left behind: gritty, tactile, and prone to accumulate in ways you don’t exactly expect. A piece that starts with a few whirling samples might build up into a towering structure, but it does so slowly and abstractly, as if by accretion and erosion than by human design.

rp boo
Pontiac Streator
Ulla Straus