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When AYLØ is on a project, the quirky conversations immediately come to mind. His new tape is no different, as he blends introspective monologues & dialogues with vintage low tempo sound to deliver a sonic product he fondly calls Alternative Soul Synthesis.
He starts off with Gardens which leads us in with a beautiful string solo, AYLØ clearly states he’s a full project dropping type of guy on the first verse and gloriously sets the tone for the rest of the tape with this track. Whoa! Is the most sensual song on the project, featuring soft vocals from Amaarae. The lyrics are soulful, sexually exploratory and pretty much expressive. It is a big highlight of the tape, as Amaarae dominates the song with a unique style while maintaining concordance with the song’s harmony. Then comes Wys? A progressive number that features Santi. AYLØ kicks a verse with a strikingly impulsive flow before Santi typically lays a patois characterized verse. It stands out of all the songs on the project but does not in any way feel out of place. Then we’re led into Star Signs; its slow tempo creates an astronomical mood in the sense that things are floating pretty much.
Self-produced 133 is a personification of recklessness done with introspection. Co-produced by Elijah Bane, AYLØ highlights some of his struggles and vices. On the chorus, he cleverly uses nuance to relate a speeding car with beats so it’s safe to assume 133 bpm as opposed to 133 km/h as he spits on the chorus “… over 120 when I speed, I ain’t talking bout no streets, talking bout these mo’ fuckin beats”. The distorted sounds at the end embody Anxiety, he reflects on, and projects a number of his fears before desperately searching for an escape on the brooding Can I. Pray which features Odunsi is a call for help of sorts, since it’s preceded by Can I it’s logically a cry for help with the fears aforementioned. On 925, AYLØ dismisses the idea of working for the man, inasmuch as he respects other people’s decisions to. Pace abruptly brings an end to this tour de force of a tape.
Between the release of his debut tape in December 2016 and now, AYLØ’s growth as an artiste is meteoric and he shows it on <insert project name\>. His effortlessness in turning his conversations and ideas lucidly into melodies and harmonies is unprecedented. Everything about his craft appears well thought out: from the use of programming syntax on his tracklist to the themes of his songs; and just like programming, every line of song is important in delivering the working product which his music is. Props definitely also have to go to his production team for making this tape a surreal experience; most especially Chris Generalz who was on string duties all through. If mixtapes were codes, debugging <insert project name\> will return no errors.
Stream the tape on Bandcamp here
Listen on SoundCloud here
By: Seun Osipitan (@manvibess) & Yinka Yomi-Joseph (@YJTheRuler)