Kabinyo - no more chasing ghosts
Kabinyo describes himself as “a producer-artist based in Atlanta, who has gained a following producing hip-hop, vaporwave and synthwave tracks that draw from an eclectic range of inspirations.” Looking back at his discography, he’s released a bunch of projects since 2019 or so, but this most recent one might just be his most complete album to date. Titled No More Chasing Ghosts, this new effort takes inspiration from the ending of a relationship and is an excursion into the murky waters of grunge (“Need It Still”), house (“Lift Your Soul”) and perhaps even industrial (the first part of “I Am Collins”).
I really think Kabinyo couldn’t have chosen a better title for this haunting LP. There are definitely all sorts of genres that Kabinyo attempts here. It’s kind of like he’s having an identity crisis whenever he thinks about his ex. Within the course of 35 minutes, he pivots from ghostly bass synths and dense trap beats to ethereal vocal sampling and beautifully orchestrated strings. “Ghost World (Intro)” and “Roma” do a magnificent job with setting up the darkness. They are also by far the most hip-hop oriented tracks on the album. The flows from Chris Messan and Slim Spitta sound really catchy as well.
After a brief interlude comes “Need It Still,” which I thought was the grungiest song on the album, but not in the traditional distorted, overdriven sense. Aside from the snare drums carrying some real bite, the rest of it is much more relaxed in its production. I’m sure that a myriad of different guitar pedals and effects were used to create the wavy sound this song has. Think of it as a sort of instrumental take on “Come As You Are” by Nirvana. In other words, it’s not only incredibly moody, but it’s also the record’s strongest track.
“Bitterness” dials down the moodiness in favor of a sizzling R&B groove. Alyssa Jane also happens to be a powerful singer. It’s hard to picture this song sounding as good with a different vocalist. “Sapphire” is also stunning. I particularly got a kick out of how menacing its bass synth is as it’s underpinned by house-influenced percussion. However, I’d like to know why it’s called “Sapphire.” Going a bit further into the tracklist, the militant “I Am Collins,” borrows elements of industrial music. While the track’s harshness fades a bit in the second half, the haunting aura essentially remains the same.
Finally comes “Why Won’t They Talk To Me” featuring Noon and Audrey W. I picked up on hints of beabadoobee and The Sundays when listening to this a few times, particularly when the woman is lamenting, “Why won’t they talk to me? / I thought I was happy.” Combine that with a melancholy acoustic guitar line, and you have yourself a decent song. Its only flaw is that it runs on just about a minute too long.
Overall, if you would like to hear a hip-hop focused album that melds all sorts of other genres with one another, then No More Chasing Ghosts is for you! Very much recommended.
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