Adrian Younge: Something About April II

The soulful Something About April II, performed by Venice Dawn, is the sequel to Los Angeles producer and composer Adrian Younge’s Something About April, released on Wax Poetics in 2012. It comes as Younge’s fourth full-length work among other film score endeavors and production for the likes of Souls of Mischief and DJ Premier, with two of the aforementioned full-lengths stemming from collaborations with Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

Younge emerged in 2009 for his role in scoring Black Dynamite, a modern spoof of ’70s blaxpoitation films directed by Scott Sanders. The film tells the story of former CIA agent, Black Dynamite, played by Michael Jai White, who eventually finds out that Anaconda Malt Liquor “Gives You Ooooooo!” after all.

Something About April II is Younge digressing from his hip-hop-centric work as of late, whether composing or producing, and joining past collaborators Loren Oden and Karolina, as well as Laetitia Sadier, Raphael Saadiq and Bilal to re-instill the soul. Evident in every track is debonair live instrumentation furnishing a dimly lit sound. The album picks up where Something About April left off with “Sitting by the Radio,” a bass-laced track sprinkled with sitar supplied from the skipper, Younge, who wields around twenty different instruments throughout the entire record. Something About April II was recorded in analog fashion and only uses instruments from 1940 to 1975.

“This is me not having to make concessions for anybody,” Younge told AllHipHop. “This type of psychedelic music is where my mind truly resonates.”

“Winter Is Here,” along with “April Sonata,” move at glacial paces while “Psalms” has a rougher, phased groove one part Younge and one part Dead Weather. “Psalms” is a sequel to Something About April’s “Sirens,” a track sampled by Jay Z on “Picasso Baby” from 2013’s Magna Carta Holy Grail. “La Ballade” is shimmering, demure and interspersed with French to compliment the vocals of Bilal and Sadier. In the album’s terminus, “Hear My Love,” Karolina toys with the listener and sounds as if her voice has reappeared a bright trumpet while Younge meanders around an electric, and eclectic, harpsichord. As far as his impending evolution as an artist and multi-instrumentalist, little stands in the way of the Younge who first sampled records using an MPC in the ’90s.

“My life and career are about literally being more disciplined than the average person,” he said. “By repeating that every day, by having that notion as a systematic part of my life, it propels me into another stratosphere.”

Recommended If You Like: The Budos Band, The Roots, Bilal, Dam-Funk, Raphael Saadiq, Souls of Mischief

Recommended Tracks: 3 (Sandrine), 1 (Sitting By The Radio), 8 (Magic Music), 6 (Memories of War)

Do Not Play: None

Written by Harrison Hipp on 02/15/16