In brief – got the album on Saturday, and after a few spins it’s one of my top 3 of the year so far. It’s hard to call it so soon, Ka’s writing demands as much careful unpacking here as it did on Grief Pedigree, but the progress he has made as a producer is apparent immediately. The sound of Night’s Gambit is fuller, much more layered as compared to the nearly skeletal sparsity that characterized most of GP. It feels like natural stylistic evolution, not a drastic departure, but it does alter the dynamic of the music. The beats have a larger presence on this album, they do more than just provide a setting for the rhymes. It’s hard to say which approach works better, good arguments could be made for both and further repeat listening will surely reveal even more nuances to consider. Were Ka’s words showcased better when set against a simpler backdrop or do richer beats enhance his narratives by making his songs more musically interesting, etc… this is gonna take a lot of headphone time.
STREAM: Ka – Night’s Gambit (VIA NPR)
BTW… I did get a few words from the man himself while buying the album on Saturday, something like a follow up to our first interview, so stay tuned for that.