The title of Laufey’s second album, Bewitched, is also the title of its closing track, which the Icelandic Chinese artist called “my favorite song I’ve ever written.” Laufey blends traditional jazz with pop structures and instrumentation to create intimate but dramatic music that resonates with Gen Z. Her collaborations with artists like Beabadoobee have also helped.
Gaika: Drift [Big Dada]
Drift, Gaika’s first album for Big Dada Recordings, finds the London electronic artist drawing inspiration from the likes of Prince, John Coltrane, Massive Attack, A$AP Rocky, Pink Siifu, and the Wu-Tang Clan. Historically far-reaching in his tastes and influences, Gaika also gathers a variety of contributors, including Bbymutha, Azekel, Charlie Stacey, Brbko, the Narrator, and producer Kidä on production.
Speaker Music: Techxodus [Planet Mu]
DeForrest Brown Jr. has described his new Speaker Music album, Techxodus, as “abstracting Blackness through information overload.” The producer’s work has consistently focused on techno music as an inherently Black mode of expression. His 2022 book, Assembling a Black Counter Culture, for example, traced the history of the genre through the history of Black labor in America, highlighting Detroit as an important nexus for industrial capitalism, techno music, and the Black working class. He’s said Techxodus can be interpreted as an epilogue to the book, another consideration of the boundless forms electronic music can offer.