Rapper/producer/multi-instrumentalist/jack-of-all-musical-trades jRadx is at his best when he’s crafting lush layered electronic tracks. On his latest release, Desert Power, his beats and backdrops stand out as some of the most well crafted electronic and hip hop beats of 2022. While results vary in regards to the album’s vocals, the music is always top notch, whether a hip hop beat or an Aphex Twin inspired electronic soundscape. For this reason, this reviewer is extremely excited for what is on the horizon for the BC based musician and composer.
The vocals on the album are far from bad, with certain tracks even having standout verses and sections, but it’s notable that the strength of this release is the musical composition rather than anything lyrical or traditional vocal based. Vocals are used as more of an instrument on some tracks – such as the dark, hypnotic, and tribal “Hypertribe” or the equally hypnotic, but more ethereal “Digital Music Therapy” – and, in these instances, they always work seemlessly as part of the strong and unique composition skills on display throughout the release. In fact, using vocals in this way is one of the highlights of those tracks. Yet, the traditional vocals on a few of the other tracks do little to add to the already great musical backdrop laid behind them. While it’s not fair to say these lyrical vocal segments detract from the music, they are never truly the highlight of the songs in which they are included.
jRadx’s approach to music is what stands out from start to finish on Desert Power:
Contemplating the current media environment: government and citizen response to compounded social and environmental stress. Juxtaposed with the “we just need to take our time” sample, to suggest a level-headed approach.
Check the album out on Bandcamp here or stream below.