Some of the UK’s most exciting young artists are joining forces on a genre-defying collaborative compilation album, exploring the enduring themes presented in the culturally iconic work of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
‘Untitled’ features the likes of Nubya Garcia, Mala, Shabaka Hutchings and Kojey Radical, and touches on jazz, experimental electronic, post-punk, dub and ambient influences, painting a diverse picture of the UK’s expanding underground sound.
The LP comprises seven exclusive collaborations from a curated selection of eighteen emerging and established musicians working in the UK's explosive underground music scene.
Drawing on Barbican’s major Basquiat retrospective in 2017 – which many of the featured artists attended – the project also explores themes around identity, representation and social inequality that, 30 years on from the artist’s death, are sadly still relevant today.
Basquiat is famously quoted as saying: “I don't think about art when I'm working. I try to think about life.'' This conceptual underpinning pervades the ‘Untitled’ project, with pertinent themes weaving their way through its dynamic collection of tracks.
The album ranges from experimental explorations to floor-filling foot shakers, touching on dub, jazz, hip-hop, post-punk and ambient. With its genre-defying sound, it’s a true reflection – and celebration – of the ever-expanding musical landscape that makes up the UK scene.
Other artists featured include Mala, Lord Tusk, Joe Armon-Jones, LayFullstop, Coby Sey, Maxwell Owin, Roxanne Tataei, Moroka, AJ Kwame, Wu-Lu, Lex Amor, Ego Ella May, Confucius MC and Kwake Bass.
Speaking of his own connection to Basquiat’s work, Shabaka Hutchings said: “What inspires me most is his ability to project the idea that aesthetics governing a (maybe imagined) past, whereby artistic endeavour was employed out of necessity and urgency, results in work which resides both in the past and the present. This adherence to a duplicity of mental timeframes is the spirit which I like to inform my own practice.”
LayFullstop added: “We're celebrating a legend who fought with his brushes and spoke with his work. The need for his work is still as current as ever. The issues we're attacking are still as current as ever. So it's only logical that Basquiat is and will continue to be as current as ever.”
The album is presented by Lonely Table (a platform for music discovery and social discussion, showcasing emerging artists), DJ Anja Ngozi and label The Vinyl Factory, as part of a wider project exploring the approach and ideals of Basquiat.
Released on 31st May, pre-order the ‘Untitled’ here, and tune into one of the record’s tracks below…
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