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Albums of the Year 2023: Jim Legxacy - HNPM | reviews, news & interviews

Albums of the Year 2023: Jim Legxacy - HNPM

Albums of the Year 2023: Jim Legxacy - HNPM

Wistful Afro-pop and punchy rap on this album of the year

'You can hear the homegrown sounds of London throughout'

In 2023 Dave and Central Cee had the longest running number one UK rap song ever with "Sprinter", a song about the logistics of being very rich. The real star of the show, however, was the spritely, luxurious instrumental which was partially produced by South Londoner Jim Legxacy, who also released the best album of 2023: HNPM.

This is my album of the year because it feels both like a snapshot of the internet’s genre-blending rap scene as well as of modern day Lewisham. Legxacy is fluent in mixing genres in a way that only an internet native could be, for example on the standout track "old place" Legxacy merges an American Football-esque guitar riff and a Jersey club kick drum to create something thrillingly new. But you can hear the homegrown sounds of London throughout HNPM in its wistful afro-pop and snippets of grime and drill which float on the periphery, always reminding us where we are. 

Similarly two albums which embraced wide-eyed, genre-blending this year were Caroline Polachek’s Desire, I Want to Turn Into You and Sampha’s Lahai, both albums so intricately produced I’m still finding new details with every listen. However, this year I often found myself on the other end of the spectrum, gravitating towards artists that stripped their music back to the very essentials. Some of the albums I had on repeat this year were composer Kali Malone’s hypnotic drone piece, Does Spring Hide Its Joy, as well as guitarist Bill Orcutt’s Jump On It and pianist Celia Hollander’s 2nd Draft.

Two more essential albums of 2023:

Tara Clerkin Trio – On the Turning Ground 

A.s.o – a.s.o

Musical experience of the year: 

Arooj Aftab playing underneath a blue sky in Brockwell Park at Wide Awake

Song of the year:

Jim Legxacy – "old place"

Snippets of grime and drill float on the periphery, always reminding us where we are


Editor Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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