Some people believe that KNLO’s 2016 album Long Jeu is more adventurous and visionary than Sainte-Foy, the keb album summer of 2019, marbled with hits that are filled with nutrient-rich pop substance. Let’s agree instead that these records had their own qualities, one more experimental hip-hop, the other more commercial, both concocted by a master Quebec beatmaker – well beyond his involvement with Alaclair Ensemble. What would happen next ? Here, against all odds, is CLUB Mixtape 2020, the result of a collective effort led by KNLO – or KenLo Craqnuques, or frankly Akena Okoko, his real name of Congolese origin. Quebecois and (sometimes) French, the music is care of KNLO, Caro Dupont, Lewis Dice, Leo MSL, Kevin Kevin, Mofak, Anas Hasouna, VLooper, Generic TM, Sev Dee, Manifest, Guillaume Tondreau, Jean-Michel Frédéric, Lowpocus, Quiet Mike & Magnanimous. French, franglais or keb, the lyrics and choral lines are from KNLO, Caro Dupont, Anas Hassouna, Marius Larue, Eman, Brown Family, Sarah MK, Seif. Three listens are enough to make the following diagnosis: the diversity of the 14 proposals on the programme, and the quality of their artistic direction, keep KNLO at the top of hip-hop and keb beatmaking, open to electro, reggaeton, and contemporary jazz. Here is the typical KNLO vibe , a convivial mix of old school references and innovation. The talented Caro Dupont, flutist, multi-instrumentalist, singer, rapper, composer, beatmaker, and accomplice of KNLO’s, occupies a special place in this brilliantly conducted collective work. This is certainly the franglophone favourite of the season!
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