BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul

Album Review by Katie Hawthorne | 11 Feb 2015
  • BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul
Album title: Sour Soul
Artist: BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah
Label: Lex Records
Release date: 23 Feb

BADBADNOTGOOD’s vision has always been broad, but with Pretty Toney in tow this time it’s blinding. The Toronto jazz trio might have found wider recognition through a James Blake cover in 2012, but they’ve been reimagining seminal hip-hop since the school yard. It’s no surprise, then, that Sour Soul feels so triumphant.

Landing a collaboration with Ghostface Killah is a feat in itself, and over the 11 tracks that follow on from cymbal-clashing, tick-tocking intro Mono, it’s a proper pleasure to hear the Wu-Tang legend stretch out over such a vital, luxuriously live backdrop. 

The guestlist is impressive: Danny Brown, Elzhi, Tree and Doom (!) take turns on tracks so strong there’ll be tears if this doesn’t come together for a show one day. Even more impressive is that BADBADNOTGOOD are far from secondary in this starry lineup. Six Degrees breaks down into a scuddy session of unnerving, tripping percussion so precisely recorded that it sounds like it’s in the room with you.

An unexpected, bombastic horn section steals the show on Ray Gun. This three-piece know their art inside out, and it’s the balance of the unpredicted with the familiarity of hip-hop's finest that renders Sour Soul just so sweet.