Various Artists MOVES
Very few people know UK afrobeats quite like Afro B – an ambassador for both the sound and the scene. Just in time for summer, Afro B has curated MOVES, a 22-track documentation of the scene. There’s been a great deal of hype about the new wave, but MOVES is the very first of its kind, and comes at a crucial time in the rise of UK afrobeats following the success of artists like MoStack, Maleek Berry and J Hus.
The compilation is a pretty decent snapshot of where things are right now. It offers everything from dance tracks loaning elements from Ghana’s Azonto and Alkyeida styles, to the Highlife samples on Hackney fourpiece CXCV’s Half Jamo Half Ghana. While afrobeats is at the core of this project, the material gathered on MOVES is still distinctly British. As well as the localised lyrical content, stylistically there are elements of grime, trap, RnB and bashment running through the 22 tracks. In our recent interview with Belly Squad, who appear here with the hit remix of their single Banana, Yung Max explained that their sound “is a combination of where we’re from, where we grew up and where our parents are from: Africa, the Caribbean and the ends”. And all in all, this project is a celebratory soundtrack of the Black British experience.
Another highlight is Money On The Road. One of the best tracks here by far, Money On The Road sees TG Millian and Blanco switch from their signature UK drill sound and team up with fellow South Londoner Naira Marley, who blesses it with his nonchalant flow and distinct Nigerian twang. Like a lot of the songs on MOVES, Money On The Road inspires daydreams of cruising through the ends in a drop top from June to September. You might not own a shiny convertible car, but thanks to MOVES and the music it celebrates, you could zone out with a pair of headphones on the upper deck of a new route master and probably feel just as great.