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Mura Masa - Mura Masa

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Mura Masa

Mura Masa

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Following the 2014 mixtape Soundtrack to a Death and numerous singles, including a few viral hits, British producer Mura Masa (Alex Crossan) released his self-titled debut album in 2017, when he was all of 21 years old. The release already seems like a virtual greatest-hits compendium, with numerous singles dating back to 2015 included, and it's loaded with guest stars -- everyone from A$AP Rocky to Jamie Lidell to Damon Albarn make appearances. Musically, Crossan's work is a mix of various "future" styles (bass music, trap, house, etc.), and he often combines light, sunny, island-like tones with lovesick, melancholy themes. His production style is expressive and detailed yet a bit restrained, rather than going for over the top maximalism at every opportunity. "Messy Love" opens the album with wavy, offbeat percussive tones (halfway between steel drums and chimes) and hand claps, along with Crossan's own Auto-Tune-drenched vocals. After the requisite choppy vocals form the track's bridge, a watery, bubbly guitar solo brings the track to a close. "Love$ick," easily Crossan's calling card to date, starts off with a bumping hip-hop beat and lyrics by A$AP Rocky, who doesn't quite steal the show. Instead, the track blooms into steel pan drumming and pitched-up vocals pleading "I need you/I want you," leaning hard on the song's sentiment of heartache. Charli XCX provides one of the album's most bubblegummy moments with the thumb piano-laced dance-pop tune "1 Night," but much more affecting is "What If I Go?," featuring Crossan's longtime collaborator (and relative unknown) Bonzai. As with "Love$ick," the heartfelt lyrics build up the song's sentiments, but then she steps out of the way and lets Crossan's sample wizardry provide the emotional climax. "Firefly" is another highlight, with Nao sweetly pleading "Just say yes, I'd rather have everything than nothing at all" over a just-right, not overcooked tropical dance beat. "Second 2 None" is a slow burner featuring Christine and the Queens, starting out slow and shadowy, but occasionally sneak attacking with some Amen breaks. Not every track leaves a major impression, but Mura Masa is still a quality effort from an ambitious, inventive producer. ~ Paul Simpson

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Mura Masa

Mura Masa

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1
Messy Love 00:03:45

LeXXX, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Hawkes, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mura Masa, Guitar, Piano, Programmer, Vocals, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alexander Crossan, Producer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2017 Anchor Point, under exclusive licence to Polydor Records, a division of Universal Music Operations

2
Nuggets 00:03:30

LeXXX, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Hawkes, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bonzai, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mura Masa, Guitar, Programmer, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jason Silva, ComposerLyricist - Alexander Crossan, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Cassia O'Reilly, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2017 Anchor Point, under exclusive licence to Polydor Records, a division of Universal Music Operations

3
Love$ick 00:03:12

Hector Delgado, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Hawkes, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alex Dromgoole, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - A$AP Rocky, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rakim Mayers, ComposerLyricist - Mura Masa, Producer, Piano, Synthesizer, Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alexander Crossan, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Anchor Point Records, under exclusive license to Polydor

4
1 Night 00:03:27

Patrik Berger, ComposerLyricist - Fredrik Berger, ComposerLyricist - LeXXX, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Hawkes, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Charli Xcx, Vocalist, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Charlotte Aitchison, ComposerLyricist - Piero Piccioni, ComposerLyricist - Mura Masa, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alexander Crossan, Producer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2017 Anchor Point Records, under exclusive license to Polydor

5
All Around The World 00:02:44

LeXXX, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Hawkes, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Kahre, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mura Masa, Programmer, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alexander Crossan, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Desiigner, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sidney Royel Selby III, ComposerLyricist - Jenna Felsenthal, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2017 Anchor Point, under exclusive licence to Polydor Records, a division of Universal Music Operations

6
give me The ground 00:01:07

LeXXX, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Hawkes, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Calvert, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mura Masa, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alexander Crossan, Producer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2017 Anchor Point Records, under exclusive license to Polydor

7
What If I Go? 00:03:16

LeXXX, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Hawkes, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bonzai, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mura Masa, Guitar, Programmer, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rebecca Louise Jones, ComposerLyricist - Alexander Crossan, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Cassia O'Reilly, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2017 Anchor Point, under exclusive licence to Polydor Records, a division of Universal Music Operations

8
Firefly 00:03:48

LeXXX, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Hawkes, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nao, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mura Masa, Producer, Engineer, Piano, Drum Programmer, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Alexander Crossan, ComposerLyricist - Neo Jessica Joshua, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Anchor Point Records, under exclusive license to Polydor

9
NOTHING ELSE! 00:03:26

LeXXX, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Hawkes, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeffrey Zeigler, ComposerLyricist - Jamie Lidell, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jamie Lidderdale, ComposerLyricist - Neo Joshua, ComposerLyricist - Mura Masa, Guitar, Programmer, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mary Lattimore, ComposerLyricist - Alexander Crossan, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Gian Piccioni, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2017 Anchor Point, under exclusive licence to Polydor Records, a division of Universal Music Operations

10
helpline 00:03:25

LeXXX, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Christopher Bell, ComposerLyricist - Stuart Hawkes, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lance Mercer, ComposerLyricist - Steven Ross, ComposerLyricist - Tom Tripp, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mura Masa, Guitar, Programmer, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alexander Crossan, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Eghator, ComposerLyricist - Dan Kempthorne, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2017 Anchor Point, under exclusive licence to Polydor Records, a division of Universal Music Operations

11
Second 2 None 00:04:11

LeXXX, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Hawkes, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Christine And The Queens, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Héloïse Létissier, ComposerLyricist - Mura Masa, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alexander Crossan, Producer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2017 Anchor Point Records, under exclusive license to Polydor

12
Who Is It Gonna B 00:04:59

LeXXX, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Hawkes, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anup Paul, ComposerLyricist - Mura Masa, Guitar, Programmer, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - A. K. Paul, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alexander Crossan, Producer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2017 Anchor Point, under exclusive licence to Polydor Records, a division of Universal Music Operations

13
Blu 00:04:32

LeXXX, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stuart Hawkes, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Damon Albarn, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Stephen Sedgwick, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mura Masa, Guitar, Programmer, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alexander Crossan, Producer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2017 Anchor Point, under exclusive licence to Polydor Records, a division of Universal Music Operations

Album Description

Following the 2014 mixtape Soundtrack to a Death and numerous singles, including a few viral hits, British producer Mura Masa (Alex Crossan) released his self-titled debut album in 2017, when he was all of 21 years old. The release already seems like a virtual greatest-hits compendium, with numerous singles dating back to 2015 included, and it's loaded with guest stars -- everyone from A$AP Rocky to Jamie Lidell to Damon Albarn make appearances. Musically, Crossan's work is a mix of various "future" styles (bass music, trap, house, etc.), and he often combines light, sunny, island-like tones with lovesick, melancholy themes. His production style is expressive and detailed yet a bit restrained, rather than going for over the top maximalism at every opportunity. "Messy Love" opens the album with wavy, offbeat percussive tones (halfway between steel drums and chimes) and hand claps, along with Crossan's own Auto-Tune-drenched vocals. After the requisite choppy vocals form the track's bridge, a watery, bubbly guitar solo brings the track to a close. "Love$ick," easily Crossan's calling card to date, starts off with a bumping hip-hop beat and lyrics by A$AP Rocky, who doesn't quite steal the show. Instead, the track blooms into steel pan drumming and pitched-up vocals pleading "I need you/I want you," leaning hard on the song's sentiment of heartache. Charli XCX provides one of the album's most bubblegummy moments with the thumb piano-laced dance-pop tune "1 Night," but much more affecting is "What If I Go?," featuring Crossan's longtime collaborator (and relative unknown) Bonzai. As with "Love$ick," the heartfelt lyrics build up the song's sentiments, but then she steps out of the way and lets Crossan's sample wizardry provide the emotional climax. "Firefly" is another highlight, with Nao sweetly pleading "Just say yes, I'd rather have everything than nothing at all" over a just-right, not overcooked tropical dance beat. "Second 2 None" is a slow burner featuring Christine and the Queens, starting out slow and shadowy, but occasionally sneak attacking with some Amen breaks. Not every track leaves a major impression, but Mura Masa is still a quality effort from an ambitious, inventive producer. ~ Paul Simpson

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