Thursday 31 May 2012

Azealia Banks - 1991

Since 212 was released earlier in the year, Azealia Banks has been unleashed on the wider public conscious, even if she is largely recognised for her extensive use of profanities.  Though a few tracks have been flitting around the 'net, with '1991' she presents her debut EP.

212 is included and is clearly the template for the other tracks.  1991 refers to the rapper's birth year, but is also suited to the surprisingly old fashioned feel of the material here.  There are strong influences from 90s house and hip-hop, the minimalist production as a whole focusing on stonking beats and fragmented synth riffs for a bright, clear sound.  It's as if she's at a club in Ibiza simply rapping over the DJ's beats.  In particular, opening track 1991 and final track Liquorice both see neon synth stabs cut against the beat.  Banks's rhythmic, high-speed rapping contains the usual filth, but her attitude is infectious. The chat at the end of Van Vogue, though, is unnecessary.

With '1991', Banks does run the risk of becoming formulaic.  But if her music can push the same boundaries as her lyrics, she'll be well on her way to living up to the hype.


Listen: '1991' is available digitally now, with physical release on June 12th.

Watch: In addition to playing Reading/Leeds Festival, Banks will be touring the UK in October.