The KLF is back using an old name and none of their old techniques. The JAMs returned, but they’re not going to be musicians this time around. They are now gravediggers. And they’re going to build a pyramid. When finished, it will be 23 feet tall, have 23 steps and consist of 34592 bricks, each containing the ashes of a dead person. They call it “The People’s Pyramid” and it will be located in Toxteth, Liverpool.
“The number and depth of those moments of silence with activity in the production of a work directly influence the true value of the product“
– David Lynch
In November 2015, I predicted Anderson .Paak‘s rise to stardom while discussing Dr. Dre‘s “Compton“. And I had no idea he was such a talented individual back then. I consumed a couple videoclips for the “Venice” singles and wasn’t particularly impressed but his voice was unique and got stuck in my head. Two days later, “The Season / Carry Me” dropped and I was floored. It was exactly what the world needed, it was obvious. As the release date approached, “Come Down” appeared and the funk was within us.
Still, I wasn’t expecting such a consistent and well-thought-out album. When “Malibu” arrived it was already over. Anderson .Paak won by knockout. As the year went by he became the vocalist to call and was invited to participate in virtually every project that came out of the USA. He began appearing as a musical guest in talk shows and, surprise!, Boom!, he played the drums and had a band. Later on, he stole the show at every music festival and his fate was sealed. In a move that surprised no one, Dr. Dre signed him to Aftermath. “… and fuck fame/ That killed all my favorite entertainers”… beware of your own words, Mr. .Paak.
In The Needle Drop‘s “Malibu” review, Fantano made a good point: even with the presence of superstar producers, the album sounds synthetic and relies too much on loops. It has some, but it could be even better with more live instrumentation. His “Tiny Desk Concert” is proof, the already wonderful songs come alive and breath fresh air. Simple and sexy, butter and velvet. It’s ridiculous. Still, I don’t listen to “Malibu” that much. Maybe it’s too R&B for me. Maybe too happy. Maybe I’m waiting for a live album or one for the more aggressive Nx Worries project he has with producer Knxwledge. One thing’s for sure, there are no filler songs in that album and .Paak more than proved himself as an artist. The kid is just starting, let him spread his wings and he’ll burn the world down.
True artist, right here. It’s not exactly my kind of music, but I won’t complain. I wouldn’t know in what genre to classify him in, is this soul? No, but it does have one. All I can say is his power, angst and honesty are palpable. He came from the past or another planet to show us how it’s done. In the last song, “Adios”, he sings:
Adios to the little child in me
who kept on blaming everyone else
instead facing defeat
After all, why should I regret?
If it wasn’t for the mistakes
I made yesterday
where will I be by now?
Let that be our lesson for the day.