There are so many ideas and motivations involved in the making of music. The success of a track largely depends on the talent of its creator at crystallizing those elements and infusing the music with them. LV (pictured) and Joshua Idehen‘s Album Routes is one of those rare releases that is absolutely in sync with the time and place of its creation. Routes is complex, contradictory, occasionally funny and often dark, an album perfectly analogous to London’s mystical urban sprawl. Tracks like Melt and Murkish Delights are hands down some of the most exciting musical statements to come out of the London scene in the last few years.
LV has collaborated with a number of different vocalists in the past but their decision to work with Josh Idehen despite having no history together was inspired, especially given that Idehen’s laconic beat-poet style of delivery has a lot in common with rising star of UK hip hop Ghostpoet. LV’s ability to morph and rebuild his spoken word flow elevates both the producer and vocalist’s music to new heights, and it works well because it never feels like either party made any compromises.
Melt is the real highlight on Routes, with LV laying down a roiling funk beat while deconstructing Idehen’s verses and screwing them back together to match their own tumbling rhythm. Murkish Delights may be all velvet reverberations and languid, disenchanted rambling from the MC, but Northern Line shows a different side to this collaboration. The vocals here are full of humor and cynicism in equal measure, Idehen providing a succession of smart one-liners about London tube stations while LV decides to chew up his work and spit it back out over a frantic ragga beat.