New Album Review

New Favorites In Underground: June 2024

As summer inches closer and closer, with it brings a plethora of warm music to go along with it. I want to highlight a couple of such projects that us wonderful folks at WKNC have added for heavy rotation during our underground hours.

Machinedrum – “3FOR82”

Album art for Machinedrum's newest album "3FOR82".
Album art for “3FOR82” by Machinedrum

Before I had decided to check out this album, I had only been familiar with Machinedrum’s earlier works, which were primarily instrumental, wonky-type hip-hop beats. “3FOR82” sees Machinedrum in his most versatile state, while also staying true to his roots. We see experimentation from almost all corners of hip-hop, with blends of everything from boom bap to drum and bass. Machinedrum is definitely one of the very few artists who is both skilled and comfortable enough with their own production to pull something off like that. Recommended for all fans of electronic and hip-hop fusion.

Yaya Bey – “Ten Fold”

Album art for Yaya Bey's newest album "Ten Fold".
Album art for “Ten Fold” by Yaya Bey

“Ten Fold” is probably one of the most honest albums that I’ve listened to in a while. Yaya Bey doesn’t attempt to tread around her emotions, thoughts, and fears, choosing to present everything in full. It’s a contemporary R&B album that predictably deals with themes of romance and sensuality, but as I stated prior, it simply feels more genuine compared to most of what I tend to hear from that genre. Nonetheless, it still holds true in being a warm and smooth record perfect for the summertime parties to come.

Milan Ring – “Mangos”

Album art for Milan Ring's newest album "Mangos"
Album art for “Mangos” by Milan Ring

Back on the theme of summer, “Mangos” is a project that will definitely be serving to accompany all of my future excursions in the coming months. I’d say the album excels in its imagery above all else, easily taking me straight to the tropics, chomping down on some pineapple and watermelon. While it might not be anything to go raving about, Milan Ring delivers gorgeous vocal performances and soothing but also punchy and danceable instrumentals.