British producer and performer Kwes is back in the recording studio, and this time he is working on his own material after five years of producing for other musicians. The first song released by Kwes, whose 2013 debut album featured a new and exciting strain of R&B, is completely devoid of vocals. “Midori” is the first song in a forthcoming EP tentatively named “Songs for Midi,” and it suggests an electronic music departure for the talented musician.
The new song by Kwes sounds as if he has an ongoing love affair with older synthesizers spliced with analog recording equipment. “Midori” is a fun instrumental track that evokes a musical landscape without being pretentious. The sound effects that Kwes compiled for “Midori” include a hint of a human voice, but that is as close as the song gets to any vocals.
Kwes is not known as a solo artist; his 2013 album “ilp” was released on a smaller label when it could have been published by just about any major record production house that he has worked with in the past. As a music producer, Kwes has worked with Damon Albarn, Bobby Womack and Solange Knowles. He has also collaborated with Dan the Automator and Gorillaz on critically acclaimed recording projects. In 2011, Kwes was part of an ensemble that traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to record the “Kinsasha One Two” album, a special project with Damon Albarn that mixes traditional African music with electronic beats.
By the sounds of “Midori,” Kwes seems to be ready to return to his Kinsasha electronic phase, and this may not be the most ideal direction for fans of his R&B crooning. Kwes has always been attracted to experimental music; “Midori” makes this very clear, and he stands to gain many new fans who enjoy different takes on electronic music.