Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Feb 22nd, 2017

Sampha: Process

(Young Turks Recordings)

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British singer-songwriter-producer Sampha Sisay’s first full-length album feels as if it were delivered by a polished veteran, which might be expected from a musician who, at age 28, has already contributed one or more of his talents to top-tier records like Kanye’s The Life of Pablo, Frank Ocean’s Endless, and Solange’s A Seat at the Table, just to name a few. Process immediately envelopes listeners in its orbit with the opening track, “Plastic 100°C,” which begins with a sample of Neil Armstrong’s voice in his communication with home base as he lands on the moon. The song establishes a tone that is simultaneously expansive and intimate, a multiplicity of feeling that he carries forward throughout the record. “Blood on Me” is accented by a choir of his own voice behind each verse, and “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano” delivers a rush of goosebumps with nothing more than stripped-down vocals and a soothing keyboard melody. “Under” employs a thumping bass line to lead you into his subterranean universe of musical inspiration, and “Incomplete Kisses” is a reflective ballad that explores the artist’s struggles with allowing himself to let others in. This debut suggests a level of refinement that will serve as a solid foundation to build upon in future works. I’ve no doubt that these heartfelt grooves will captivate a packed house at Forest Hills when Sampha takes center stage along with The xx for back-to-back shows in late May.

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Sampha: Process