Knxwledge ‘Hud Dreams’ – Album Review

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This is a proper headnodder of an album, getting close to Dilla’s ‘Donuts’ in terms of a beat tape that you’ll want to keep coming back to. Ok, it’s perhaps not quite in the 10/10 category that Donuts occupies – but Yancey’s magnum opus is THE benchmark for albums in this category. Knxwledge has however produced a near 40 minute album compiled of neck snapping funky breaks, soul samples, and intoxicating moods that will appeal to beat heads worldwide.

26 tracks of instrumentals and no guests MC’s is something that could be boring; appealling to the beat nerds only. However – this is on Stones Throw – they don’t do boring – and has been getting props from all the right people. So fans of Madlib, Flying Lotus, Taylor McFerrin, Ras G and of course Dilla should be checking this.

Highlights are difficult to find, this is a strong album and it’s really about listening through rather than considering separate tracks. Taken in isolation some of these tracks wouldn’t make much sense, listened to as a whole though Hud Dreams is a journey. Vocal snippets, smoky soul atmospherics, funky melodies, breaks and spoken word interludes drift in and out. Tracks such as ‘nvrending’ throw in horns that sound like they are from a lost western soundtrack; laid back guitar licks on ‘demskreets.fekts’ add a lovely lilting feel. Knxwledge seems to know how to build a dense collage of sound, but also when to strip it back- this gives this record light and shade.

This album manages to sound both contemporary whilst also paying tribute to the era of dusty fingers and digging in the crates. Straddling the abstract experimental sound of the Brainfeeder / Low End Theory camps whilst also acknowledgeing the old school producers like Pete Rock this has something for all hip hop fans. This is a very solid listen from someone well worth watching. Available on double vinyl, or the usual digital/cd formats.

8/10

You can buy the album direct from Stones Throw

https://www.stonesthrow.com/

Check the ST site anyway – its a decent read & useful source of music streams & release info, or buy from the good people at Norman records here…

https://www.normanrecords.com/records/154108-knxwledge-hud-dreems-

The full album can be streamed via You Tube:

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