It’s not often an album’s announcement is genuinely exciting. Usually it’s an email in your inbox revealing that X has a new album out on Y. But it seems like Alex Crossan - AKA Mura Masa - has a pretty impressive phonebook, so why do things normally?
Posters started appearing across the globe in each of his collaborators’ home towns to announce the release of Mura Masa, Crossan's second album. From Desiigner’s Brooklyn, to Christine & The Queens’ Nantes, right down to Crossan's own home town of St Peter Port, it was an exciting way to show off the breadth of guests that appear. This wide array of names bring their own particular styles and fuse it with the signature Mura Masa sound.
"Love$ick" sees A$AP Rocky taking Mura Masa’s Flume-esque instrumental "Lovesick Fuck" and turning it into a hazy, euphoric banger packed with air horns. "Second 2 None", where Christine and the Queens’ voice is clearly the star, has all the beautiful restraint of something like "Nuit 17 à 52" before Mura Masa lets his drum ’n’ bass side out.
Written to capture his feelings of moving to London from Guernsey, the whole album feels like you’re following Mura Masa as he throws himself into all the different subcultures the city has to offer. While this does mean the album often feels less like a Mura Masa album and more one simply curated by him, it’s so well curated it doesn’t really matter.
"Firefly", the track that made his name alongside fellow upstart Nao, still sounds as fresh as it did in 2015. Hypnotic, melodic and oh so sweet as the beats shuffle and shimmer, there’s a very good reason why it capture everyone’s attention. The Damon Albarn-featuring "Blu" feels like a lost Gorillaz track, while "1 Night" features the Charli XCX we secretly miss — less party girl and more open and romantic — coupled with breezy beats that feel like if Bonobo went a little bit wild.
"Nuggets" sees Mura Masa teaming up once again with the phenomenal (and sadly still underrated) Bonzai for a true album highlight, fusing Mura Masa’s funky beats with bonzai’s ability to flip styles on a note. It’s fun and incredible catchy. What more could you ask for?
Mura Masa isn’t perfect, with his production sometimes losing its identity to his guest stars, but it’s a solid and most importantly fun record by a star producer who's finally getting the attention he deserves. With an envious cast of characters on board, it feels like the best party everyone’s invited to. Grab a drink and dive in.