In Album Reviews, Features, Home, Perspective

File next to: King Krule (6 Feet Beneath The Moon) and James Blake (self-titled)

Genre: Alternative R&B, lo-fi, soul

LAFV Verdict: 8.5/10, ‘Cult Classic’

In a month where the term ‘classic album’ has been debated, we felt it was a timely opportunity to review Spooky Black’s Black Silk. Released in April 2014, Black Silk is by no means a ‘classic album’ but this project is special.

It’s relevance in mapping the progress of the Soundcloud generation is immeasurable. Using the free (at least at the time it was) online music distribution site as his platform, Corbin was catapulted to the forefront of the future R&B wave. Shows around the US and Canada followed, he even came to London, some feat for a teenager from Minnesota. We we were fortunate to experience the London show, some footage of a track that we’ve assumed is called ‘Move It Like That’, this track at the time was unreleased and remains so.

Back to the topic, give Black Silk a play and I’m certain you won’t skip a track, in fact Corbin (Spooky’s real name) gives you many reasons to pull up (rewind) certain tracks, particularly ‘Without U’. Approach this track with caution and don’t expect to hear it in the club, nor should you put this on when charging yourself up during pres for a mosh pit at Livin’ Proof. The visuals alone give you a sense for the solemn theme of the song, doo-ragged up like many R&B dons before him, Corbin takes us on his journey of unrequited love (a feeling we know all too well) as he sings:

‘Ima end my life without you…’

All of the tracks on Black Silk offer depth, substance and exude the traditional R&B qualities of soulfulness and meaning. That said, his sound is more than traditional R&B, his emotional lo-fi and sometimes post punk flow are what makes the artist and this project so special.  Corbin’s style is languid, very similar to that of Archy Marshall (King Krule), another artist who borrows style from a number of genres to create something truly unique and special.

To me the marriage of lo-fi and R&B are what renders this album a ‘cult classic’, the purveyors of these genres will know what I mean. Lo-fi is something we will touch on in the weeks to come but as a brief introduction, it is a sound synonymous with low quality. Well low quality in comparison to hi-fi, the reproduction of high quality sound. Lo-fi formerly adopted in late 80s but around long before, is essentially muffled production with heavy bass, it was regarded low quality at the time because its forerunners simply couldn’t afford proper instruments. An authenticity which evident throughout Black Silk.

The whole project is a highlight, but special moments without doubt are  ‘Without U’, ‘Can I Make U Mine’ and ‘We Were Once Together’.

If you haven’t already, go listen.

https://soundcloud.com/spookyblack/sets/lil-spook-black-silk

File next to: King Krule (6 Feet Beneath The Moon) and James Blake (self-titled)

Genre: Alternative R&B, lo-fi, soul

LAFV Verdict: 8.5/10, ‘Cult Classic’

Article by Abraham

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.