Relentless Beat of the Week: Phantoms – ‘Only You’
July 29, 2022
July 29, 2022
21-year-old Alex Crossan, who you probably know as Mura Masa, got his start on Soundcloud like many other international stars. After years of self-promoting on the music sharing site, he finally burst onto the scene in 2014. He’s an incredibly talented producer, songwriter, and instrumentalist who’s spent the last few years building his fan base and reputation amongst peers. He actually played every instrument on the album–talk about impressive! Now, three years since his descent into the industry, he’s released his self-titled debut album, Mura Masa. It features an outstanding list of features that speak to the level of success he’s achieved.
The 13-track album is not entirely new to fans. His track “Love$ick,” featuring A$AP Rocky, has already reached number 1 on the Spotify Viral charts in the UK and United States in 2015. His track “Firefly” featuring NAO, was also released as a single in 2015 and has over 50 million plays collectively. In fact, over half the album has already been released somewhere, but it’s finally here in its completed glory, and it’s everything!
Another shining feature on the album comes on the track “1 Night” with Charli XCX. It’s a pop forward, steel drum club hit. Exotic sounds and smooth, chill vibes are signature elements in Mura Masa’s music. The British producer pulls inspiration from cultures around the world, making his music a unique listening experience.
The opening track, “Messy Love,” is an ambitious piece with wailing sirens and an infectious piano riff. It’s followed by one of my personal favorites from the album, “Nuggets” featuring Bonzai. They’ve worked together previously on “What If I Go?” which also made the album.
“All Around the World” is another single previously released that’s been building hype for the album. It features a rare enunciating Desiigner verse that highlights all the rapper’s strengths.
Only two of the tracks have no features, but Mura Masa doesn’t rely too heavily on his guests. His production is top-notch on every tune. Mura Masa is a funk-infused spectacle that straddles genres with ease. He pieces together house and hip-hop beats with sounds like marimba, steel pans, and kalimba. “I wanted it to be self-titled and self-made. Everything on there… I played every instrument and I produced every song,” Crossan said. Stream the entire album and see all Mura Masa can do below:
Dance music in 2017 is alive and well, and it’s becoming more diverse and wide-reaching every day. Mura Masa is new, exciting, and above all, fresh. I’d rate this debut-album a booming success, an absolute 10.