NEW GEN is a collection of underground hip-hop and grime artists out of the UK, curated by Caroline Simionescu-Marin, A&R rep for XL Recordings. The collection acts as an extension of her playlist series on GRM Daily. The various artists collection features 17 different artists and will act a sort of time capsule for UK’s hip-hop scene. The collection is polished with a sense of collaboration and cohesion between tracks, owing partly to the fact that the tracks were created with artists working out of the same studio.
The record features some great contributions, “Busy (Feat. Ray BLK)” features the classic hip- hop trope of success and fame bringing the family out of the woodwork, and the chorus recalls that of De La Soul.
“My Ways (Feat. AJ Tracey & J Warner)” races through the two artists internal philosophising about women, money, Instagram, iPads, and the price and sacrifice of art and the superficial
“Man of the Hour (Feat. Jevon)” gets propelled by a sampling from Nina Simone’s “Sinnerman” and while the sample has become very familiar, it supports Jevon’s rapid fire delivery expertly, and he end makes it his own.
“Welcome To The New Gen (Feat. Avelino & Bonkaz)” the opener, though brief, clocking in under 2:30 feels the most impactful musically. A soft synth fading in and out in the background with a nonsense pitch loop creates an eerie backdrop for the two MCs.
NEW GEN is great collection of talented UK up and comers, the slight setback for this collection is that it suffers a similar fate that other compilations and thoroughly collaborative records fall to. Very little tends to stick out sideways on the record, all the legs of the table are there and everything is nice and controlled, one gets the sense that these artists are extremely original and creative, but this is not the place to let too many idiosyncrasies loose. That being said, Caroline Simionescu-Marin has accomplished her goal of creating a “cohesive body of work with 17 completely different artists”. In fact, the album, almost feels more like an UK underground supergroup.
review by Jake Fox