South London's Coyote Records imprint has quietly established a reputation for unearthing new talent over the past two years, releasing material from artists who don't quite seem to fit under any easy bracket.
Essentially informed by the energy of grime, the label - run by SIGNAL mix curator Tomas Fraser - is now ready to introduce its first album project.
Letta is an American artist, a producer with a troubled past whose work has an emotive edge. Debut album 'Testimony' will be released in September, and the beat maker has offered the following as an introduction:
"I moved out when I was 13 and I've pretty much been on my own since then. I spent most of my youth in Arizona, which is a hub for all the drugs coming up from Mexico. I was a junkie for years and sold a lot of drugs - it was a super violent, hectic time. The fact that I made it out of that alive and the fact that I've stayed clear of drugs or even thought about them in the last five years is a miracle. Unfortunately, I can't even count five of my friends that made it out like I did, but I always clung to my music. No matter what was going on in my life and what I was involved with, I was always making beats - it's the only reason I'm not dead already."
"After a while, I finally made an effort to get my shit together and was on methadone for a few years before deciding to go to the desert - five miles north of Mexico - and made myself stay there until I was better. It was the most agonising time ever. I tried to just stay out of trouble and focus on music, which is a lot easier said than done. Luckily, I've always had homies putting in work and after another run getting involved with the wrong shit in Arizona, I finally just said 'fuck it, I'm too old for this', packed up my stuff and bounced to LA."
"I crashed on couches until I got my act together and ended up living in a warehouse in the middle of Skid Row - just a huge, open, raw warehouse space. So that's what I do now - I smoke a lot of trees, make beats all day and hang out with my cat. I think being on Skid Row and seeing so many people that remind me of my past has really helped me reflect and take my music to where it was supposed to be. I feel like this record is just the first chapter in me trying to channel years of sadness and horrible memories. I feel like every track relates to a specific moment in time, with a specific person, in a specific place. This is just me channelling stuff - it's not beat making, it's not grime or hip hop or whatever, it's just me."
4. In Black
5. North Face
6. The Recluse
7. Do U Ever See
8. Where I Left You
9. Last Japan - Harca (Letta Remix)
10. Letta - The Recluse (Last Japan Remix)