Album review: IAMNOBODI – Elevated

October 1 marked the release of the latest stylings from Germany native Joe Kay, who operates under the pseudonym IAMNOBODI. This entirely instrumental album, which is aptly titled Elevated, is a satisfying mix of funk, soul and loungy beats. I must admit, I had my doubts about this album, but after listening I was completely floored.

Often instrumental beats mixtapes have the potential to go one of two ways, as the challenge lies in keeping the song progressive without the aid of vocal melodies, but also without overdoing the amount of instrumental or rhythmical ideas present. This challenge is overcome and executed perfectly on Elevated – sparse, unassuming rhythms slowly build and coalesce with smooth, spacey sounding synth lines and perfectly-timed handclaps and soulful samples to create a forward-moving and sonically interesting experience.

Each song feels like a song in its own right – the narrative of each track is hidden in the details, and the subtle intricacies of the atmospheric sounds and vocal samples are knitted together to create a seamless progression. But it doesn’t end there – just as you get into the groove of the song, Kay turns the rhythm upside down and inside out and removes a beat. Good quality instrumental beat-based music that keeps the ear guessing is hard to come by in a world where every man and his dog “makes beats”, but IAMNOBODI is definitely one to watch.

Highlights off Elevated include Do What You Love, Heaven’s Gate and Maputo Dance. 4/5 stars.

Elevated is out now on Soulection and available for streaming, download and purchase here.

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