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September 2020 (Arlo Parks)
Album review

LA Priest - GENE

'GENE' is an eye-opening statement from an artist thriving.
Label:
Released: 5th June 2020
Rating: ★★★★
LA Priest - GENE
Published: 9:32 pm, September 16, 2020Words: Jamie Muir.

Morphing and melding different genres, eras and sounds together can be quite tricky. For every phenomenal success comes about 10 different failed blenders that'd do better sitting in the bin rather than sitting on the stereo. Thankfully, LA Priest sits comfortably in the former. After shaking off the anticipation that came from early days in Late Of The Pier, his 2015 solo debut was one of intoxicating pleasure. Comfortably in his own world yet still displaying that outsider need to push boundaries, it set LA Priest as an artist unlike any other. Five years later, and nobody has really come close. With 'GENE', LA Priest pushes himself further out front as an artist truly doing whatever the hell he wants. The results are pretty ace if we say so ourselves.

Like a bottomless potion that keeps evolving and changing shape, 'GENE' oozes with a cocktail of bubbling sounds. From slinky R&B that moves like Prince in his prime ('Beginning', 'What Moves') to pounding deep-bass that echo Chemical Brothers on a big night out ('Rubber Sky', 'Monochrome') there's an unstoppable aura of individuality and creativity running throughout. Voice-pitching calls, fluid beats and a penchant to shift at the drop of a dime - it's a carefully created cauldron of cultures. 'Black Smoke' fidgets amongst itself, almost twitching into different flourishes while 'Open My Eyes' builds and builds with hypnotising ease.

'GENE' is an eye-opening statement from an artist thriving with an encyclopaedic knowledge of music. Each listen revealing more, it's a deep dive into the mind of Sam Dust, and once you're in, you simply do not want to leave. Is it fair to call him a Professor in his own right? After 'GENE', LA Priest's possibilities are endless.

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