Review: Kaytranada - 99.9%

Written By Annie Cooper on 05/04/2016


Kaytranada is probably one of the most notable producers born from the SoundCloud generation. Cultivating his career through the platform, his success happened suddenly and has steadily risen for the better part of the last four years. His many remixes and subsequent EP's have garnered him some major attention from the electronic and hip-hop music scenes alike, so you'd be forgiven for forgetting that up until just now he has yet to release a full album.

99.9% , his first LP, has been hyped since December 2014. In the time between then and now, the album became one of those releases that are perpetually 'coming soon', with details on the project pretty scarce and infrequent. Before it's May 6th release date was confirmed, I had pretty much become resigned to believing that it was never going to come at all. But here it is, ready to satiate our collective frustration and need for new Kaytranada. If you were concerned that he wouldn't deliver, you can rest assured that this LP is everything, if not more than what was promised to us. 99.9% is a fully realised project, taking everything that we know and love about his signature sound and expanding on it tenfold.

The album as a whole is a collection of deep funk, classic house infused with his signature hip-hop style. It's impossible to narrow it down to just being one certain thing or genre, it's an eclectic amalgamation of genres but yet it works incredibly well as a full LP. It's always interesting to see producers release their first full album, and the end result can sometimes be underwhelming, but in this case it works so damn well I'm wondering why he didn't get there sooner. The albums first two tracks, Track Uno and Bus Ride serve as an easy introduction to Kaytranada as an artist which will be good for newer fans. They showcase his signature wobbly funk and beats well, while easing you into the feel of the album. In fact, it's not until sixth track Weight Off, that we get a true taste of his musical evolution.

Weight Off, which features Badbadnotgood is what sold the album for me. It's moody, funky and kicks off with one of the greatest bass-lines i've heard so far this year from anyone. In the grand scheme of the album, it's a signpost that things are about to shift, yet it still harbours the same classic Kaytranada sound we know and love. It's followed up with One Too Many, which completely fucked up my first play of the album, because I had to stop and relisten a dozen times.

Kaytranada picked up the pace and ran with it, with the remainder of the album exceeding all my expectations. There's no filler here, just good, solid tracks. Throughout his career, he's been praised for fusing hip-hop and dance together, and this album is a 50/50 split of both. Notably, Glowed Up which features Anderson Paak caters to the hip hop elements, while Lite Spots is a stellar house track that would be fitting in any kind of club.

There's no doubt in my mind that even the most devoted Kaytranada fans will be pleased with this effort. It's not even halfway through the year and we've already been blessed with so many great releases, and this album is one of the very best so far. I may have waited a long time to give this album a spin, but I'm not mad because it was most definitely worth it.