Knxwledge has always been one of our favorite hiphop producers of the post-Dilla era. We all love his beat tapes here and ‘Hud Dreams’, his 2015 debut album for Stones Throw, is nothing short of a Rush Hour store classic.
Personally I may have taken it a bit too far with the Knxwledge love though - in the months after the Anderson Paak collabo NxWorries came out (an album that arguably features Paak’s best work to date and that’s saying something) I played it in the store so much I was repeatedly asked to please put on something else for god’s sake by my esteemed colleagues - something known here as the Quasimoto-effect. Apparently you can have too much of a good thing.
‘1988’ is only his second proper solo album for Stones Throw, but that doesn’t mean he’s been taking it easy recently. It’s been raining digital Knxwledge albums, EP’s and tracks on Bandcamp for years now, but he’s clearly been saving up some of his best beats for this one. ‘1988’ (the title referring to Knxw’s year of birth) still has the character of one of his many beat tapes, morphing 22 tracks into a thrilling 38 minute collage of slick grooves and blissed out loops borrowed from seventies symphonic soul, bouncy boogie, jazzy modern soul and syropy swingbeat, interspersed with clever samples and spot-on vocal appearances. Sultry and understatedly funky, it’s the perfect companion for comfy home listening - and we need way more of those right now (RO).