- London label CDR returns in fine, downtempo style.
- The Black-led, community-driven label CDR (Create Define Release) is back releasing the soulful, experimental records they're renowned for. CDR has been away for six years, but with these two songs they've certainly stuck the landing on the return. Both Shunaji and Reginald Omas Mamode IV are alumni of Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Bubblers series, and the mutual interstellar energy on each track makes them a perfect pair. If "Gunga Pea Fonk" is astral travel, then "Creatrix" is outer-planetary exploration.
Mamode IV's irresistibly funky "Gunga Pea Fonk" does what it says on the tin. It's a delicious serving of trip-hop. The off-kilter drums shuffle of their own accord, commanding your attention with each knock, while some 8-bit cowbells and a squirty bass channel Los Angeles-era Flying Lotus. You can tell Mamode IV had fun with this one.
It's fitting that on one of Shunaji's older tracks—the uptempo "Dirty Girls"—she rapped: "When you wonder where I'm from / You know it's another planet." With "Creatrix", she backs up that claim without having to utter a word. As a self-professed child of '90s trip-hop, Shunaji pays homage to the forefathers and mothers of the genre. It's trip-hop, wispy synthwave and fluid jazz all at once. Amid the mix of genres there's still enough space and syncopation for "Creatrix" to keep you in zen mode. Her deftness of touch conjures otherworldly magic. A whirring bassline moves with determined drive as swelling synths twinkle like stars in a distant galaxy.
01. Shunaji - Creatrix
02. Reginald Omas Mamode IV - Gunga Pea Fonk