Collaborative projects are often tricky to navigate, with results often boasting a lack of chemistry, or a partnership that might work on paper, but the masters might suggest otherwise. That is simply not the case here. Electronic heavyweight KAYTRANADA and platinum-selling rapper Aminé have joined forces for ‘KAYTRAMINÉ’, arguably being the project of the summer with its sunshine-soaked beats and contagious hooks. KAYTRANADA’s trademark grooves are matched smoothly by Aminé’s delivery, his impeccable balance of monotone and high energy the exact icing KAYTRANADA’s instrumentals require. The result is a project full to the brim of dancefloor rhythms, a plethora of diverse influences and sounds and some slick bars from Aminé and the other artists recruited for the record.
Opener ‘Who He Iz’ has a brooding backbone, sci-fi synthesiser motifs haunting the backdrop. Aminé’s delivery is monotone, effortless, his signature swagger cutting through the mix with every syllable. KAYTRANADA’s lazy drums are as groovy as ever, laying the anticipated, and welcomed, foundation for the record. ‘Westwide’ has a more trap edge, the melancholic string samples reminiscent of other producers like Metro Boomin. It has KAYTRANADA continuing to show his production prowess; he is absolutely not someone limited to the music he is mostly known for. His ability to sculpt vivid soundscapes is transferable to any genre, whether it be his hallmark club tracks like ‘4EVA’ or more hip-hop leaning moments, such as the mercurial ‘STFU3’.
It’s also no surprise this project boasts some seriously heavyweight features, given the status of the duo who have crafted this world. Snoop Dogg’s performance on ‘Eye’ has the rapper at his most comfortable, his sleepy yet lovably braggadocios flow a stark contrast to the glossy, synth heavy backbeat, lightyears away from the rapper’s G-funk roots. Freddie Gibbs continues to prove he is one of the most talented wordsmiths around, delivering a machine-gun flow over a frantically rhythmic instrumental.
As expected, ‘KAYTRAMINÉ’ will be the soundtrack to most individual’s summers, and for good reason. Every track holds its own, but when packaged together it becomes a unique and refreshing listening experience, one that is just as comfortable in headphones as it would be in the busiest clubs. Hearing KAYTRANADA experiment more with hip-hop facing sounds is exciting, the producer potentially teasing more rap collaborations, and Aminé is as charming as ever throughout the entire project.
Words: James Mellen