With his first release, the Rotterdam-based producer, composer and rhythm extraordinaire Kofi The Unknown wears Late Bloomer proudly on his sleeve as an honorary title providing an emotional journey through sophisticated dance music, straight from the heart, aimed at the soul and feet.
Going against the continuous stream of endless scrolling and instant gratification
Can you remember what your timeline on [insert preferred social media platform] looked like yesterday? How about the tunes on your Discover Weekly or Release Radar playlists on Spotify? Our online presence is so ubiquitous and it influences the way we perceive culture. In terms of music, we expect artists to provide us with tunes on a continuous basis, instantly gratifying our demand. It ultimately pressures the artist to transform the art of making music. Overnight hits, shorter songs and increasing beat switches in one tune evidently illustrate just that. But not to Kofi. With The Late Bloomer, he took time to hone his skills as a producer and composer. His debut draws from elements of broken beat, hip hop, funk, and above all else, Kofi pulls in African rhythms, blending them together into a mesh that makes it impossible to remain motionless.
Syncopated drums, soulful chords and heavy bass lines work in tandem with arpeggiated Moog sounds, taking you on a journey or, as the title implies, a wave. It's not just a vibe to dance to. Give it a couple of listens to properly appreciate the polyrhythms at work too!
Grown folks dance music
Beyond the danceability of tunes such as Waves and Lockdown Shuffle, you'll find more musical sophistication. Just an illustration of how broad Kofi's musical palette is. He subverts the stigma that dance music is synonymous with youth culture. The 43-year old took time to study the game and perfect his craft. Embrace Mistakes sets the stage for what’s to come in various ways. It is a textbook example of dance music's capability to tell a story and be introspective. Kofi’s honesty shines bright on the entire EP and strikes from the first kick drum onwards. It also shouldn’t be hard to recognize and feel the emotion the producer shares on the title track The Late Bloomer. The emotionally-laced chords and crushing drums are reminiscent of late nights at a warehouse or emotional sequences from a dystopian movie.
Staying true to his ethos ’exploring the universality that music holds’, Kofi finds this beyond music production. The Late Bloomer provides an audible experience through creative mixing. Stuttering analog synths, enveloping leads, multiple percussion rhythms and off-beat snare rolls hit from all directions of the stereo spectrum, further underlining the sophistication of his merit. While the EP follows the broken beat accents on dance, it is an equally mindful listening experience.
The Late Bloomer is not only a crown jewel Kofi proudly wears, it is also establishing him as a future household name in the sophisticated dance scene. Sharing a similar ethos, Wicked Wax seems like the right label to release the EP on. Surely, we'll see more collaborations in the future.
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