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Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Aug 29th, 2018

Vocaliz: Afrikan in New York

Vocaliz
Afrikan in New York
(Vocaliz)

Brooklyn artist, Vocaliz gives us his observations about life and how he sees it on Afrikan in New York. Born and raised in Cameroon, his music balances two musical worlds: hip-hop classics of the 90s and Central African/Cameroonian music.

Opening with the title track and its arpeggio backing of xylophone sounds and whip snap, into the “nah nah nah” singing of the slinky, “Oh Na Na,” we learn about Vocaliz’ coming to the US and how he sees the world. “We Up” really moves with a cool loud beat and piano. I like how many sounds Vocaliz allows into the mix here, not just beats and synths. And speaking of synths, we get the bleeps and some low bubbles in the slower “My Participation.”

“Heaven Bound,” another slower one, is probably the subtlest mover here, again rooting round an important lyric over the beat. “The Way it Goes Down” uses more video-machine like backing, popping keys, and is one of the straight romantic lyrics here. Meanwhile the poppy, moving, “So Digital,” (one of the best of the dozen tracks) ends Afrikan in New York.

Again Vocaliz has something to say on this last one, but “So Digital” is a more danceable party tune. The beat keeps up, the rap is fun and quick, and the sounds and keys slip in and out. Great stuff reallyPretty much all of Afrikan in New York is great stuff.

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Vocaliz: Afrikan in New York