4. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – Surf
The best things in life are free. A terrible song and a crass and too easily-accepted sentiment. After all, just because you think the best things are free it doesn’t mean that the next man does, or that you no longer want that PS4 poised tantalisingly under the Christmas tree, right?
So, lets try and be accurate here: Surf is the best souljazzhip-hop hybrid record of 2015. It’s also free but this isn’t what makes it the best. That’s down to a barrel-load of hooks, some definitively weird-ass instrument combos (is that jazz trumpet with synth keyboards, phased vocals and some indie rock guitars? Shit, it really is), and an army of great contributors.
At the heart of this little work of wonder sit Chance The Rapper and Donnie Trumpet. Except they don’t seem like they’re sitting. They’re laughing, they’re screaming. They’re frolicking for fuck sake. They’re dancing, they’re slip-sliding but still standing on their own two feet:
This is a 21st century dance-floor filler by way of Prince and Outkast. Oh, and Busta Rhymes sounds great.
At the other extreme lies the gorgeous Nothing Came To Me. A piercing volley of hard, harsh trumpet gives way to a bittersweet melancholy that wouldn’t sound out of place on Classic FM:
Yet this isn’t a record that’s all over the place. It’s real beauty lies in it’s flows. It’s the attention to detail that gives it an extra edge. It ebbs and flows. It attacks and hesitates. It waits, knowing it always has a surprise up it’s sleeve. Something soulful, something holy:
It’s at this point that I have to remind myself, and all of you, that this record is FREE. You can download it from itunes now. The only cost is a little patience and a little trust. I’d never lie to you about music.