Saturday 29 May 2021

'Trippin' by Magro


'Trippin' marks the debut full-length album from Berlin-based drummer and producer, Magro.

The release of 'Trippin' - announced earlier this year - would have come as exciting news for listeners having been hooked on Magro's music since his releases dating back to 2019.  Over the course of several singles, Magro introduced his distinctive style - an inspired fusion of jazz, hip-hop and neo-soul - as an extraordinary voice amidst a continually thriving scene.

A fervent performer and collaborator to many of Germany's rising and established stars, the spirit of collaboration has always permeated through Magro's releases whether they be through his work with vocalists, rappers or fellow musicians.  Parking commentary on 'Trippin' for a moment, the aforementioned early singles which paired Magro's boundless talents with those of US rapper Stimulus ('15 Minutes') and R&B artists Kileza ('Superskater') and Kenny Wesley ('Jupiter') acted as shining examples of Magro's ability to connect musically with artists and tapping into what resonates with them or knowing how to plunge them in new and exciting sonic scenarios.  His work with vocalist Leona Berlin also warrants special mention, not only for their collaboration on the awesome 'Floating Freely' single (2019) but also for his extensive contributions to Berlin's debut full-length release and subsequent singles leading up to the upcoming sophomore album.

Conversely, the release of 'Beat Tape' from earlier this year gave the opportunity for the drummer and producer to showcase his music within a more solitary, back-to-basics setting.  Taking his inspiration from heroes including Herbie Hancock, Dilla, Robert Glasper and Chris Dave, the ten-track release once again demonstrates the versatility within Magro's music and his continual evolution towards new styles and ideas.

Which brings us to the release of 'Trippin'.

While still boasting that indelible vision when it comes to composition, 'Trippin' confidently takes those elements to the next level with a bolder and, at times, broader landscape.  Looking at the album's title track as an example - featuring US rapper TwizzMatic and jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, musically we're in new territory with darker and more "trippy" production.  It's an incredibly bold track to open the album with and an apt contrast to the album's closing number, 'Silence', featuring Ronja.  Imagined as a "tribute to silence", the eclectic future soul number once again revels in these new textures perhaps not normally associated with Magro's music - an expectation I imagine the musician loves subverting.

With tracks flitting between instrumental hip-hop-inspired jazz numbers and further great collaborative pairings - the Leona Berlin assisted 'Running' in particular serving as the album's high point - the album marks another glorious entry amidst Magro's burgeoning catalogue.  His past releases introduced him as an awesome talent but 'Trippin' now confirms his masterful and enduring brilliance.

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