One of the UK’s most exciting electronic artists, Mura Masa, dropped their eponymous debut album today. In addition, to featuring a slew of his previous singles such as; the collaborations with A$AP Rocky, “Lovesick”, and Charlie XCX, “1Night”, as well as tracks such as “Firefly” and “What If I Go” that have helped build the reputation that the Guernsey born producer enjoys today. Having begun releasing material as early as 2013, the following years has seen him refine his sound, working away from trap and hip hop influenced electronica (similar to Hudson Mohawke and Sam Gellaitry), towards cracking the pop market with tracks possessing more mainstream crossover appeal, such as 2015’s hit “Love for That”. On first listening to the album, one can see parallels with artists such as Flume and Kaytranada, with new single “Nuggets” sounding directly inspired by Kaytranda’s own edit of Missy Elliot’s “What’s It Gonna Be”. However, one of the tracks that stands out for perfectly captures Mura Masa’s sound is the album opener, “Messy Love”.
Messy Love starts with the sound of the automated voice of the London bus announcer announcing Brixton’s New Park Road stop amidst emergency services sirens, traffic, and incomprehensible chatter. This introduction is cut by the entering of steel drums set atop a minimal drum beat, sounding so similar to previous single “Firefly”, that it may be intended to have been its accompanying piece. However, whilst “Firefly” utilises NAO’s vocals, “Messy Love” sees Mura Masa distorts his own voice, calling to be beaten and broken for the other’s messy love. Similarly to his other productions, the track builds and opts, not for a maximalist “EDM” inspired drop, but favours restraint and melody. The addition of guitar licks and other eccentricities helps add the finishing touches to his trademark sound, and nicely sets the rest of the album up.