In this first edition of PC Radio Top 5, we got the chance to collect some of favorites albums from Ravi Nararya representing Pesona Experience

Everyone have their own references and favorite musicians, this time Ravi Nararya gives 5 choices of his favorite musicians and some interesting reasons in it, and maybe it might also be your favorite musicians!

1. Black Focus – Yussef Kamaal

It was 2017 when I first discovered Yussef Kamaal and if people still think that the capital of jazz is New York, surely they’ve never listened to anything that comes from the British capital these days.

The album mixes between frantic breakdowns, slow melodramatic grooves, lush pads, a rush of strings, and skits reminiscent of classic hip hop songs. The drums pay homage to jungle and breakbeat culture at times, while the jazzy textures represent the role that funk and soul have in both artists’ artistic spheres. This is the sort of record that encourages new listeners to investigate unknown sounds and musical backgrounds; this is the kind of record that speaks well for the future of British jazz.

I must say that Yussef’s drum breaks really carry this record, it’s just absolutely jaw-dropping whenever he gets a chance to go off and lead the track. “Joint 17” encapsulates the album’s freewheeling excellence. The keys purr with soft sophistication and are accented with popping bass and snaps. The drum breaks could launch 1,000 rap beats, and it’s the exclamation point on one of the year’s best jazz records.

Top tracks: Joint 17, Strings of Light, Remembrance

2. Movin’ On – Andezzz

I first heard of Andezzz in 2007-2008, when one of his hits, ‘Pergi,’ was frequently streamed on the radio, MTV, etc. I remembered that I had asked my mother to accompany me to Disc Tarra to get his album (I was 10 at that time). Well, you know the procedure:you listen to the album before you bought them. AND I WAS HOOKED! 

The album has a big sound and a slightly laid-back vibe to it. The beginning alone portrays the loungey, suave radio bumpers. It represents a new breakthrough for Indonesian music by establishing its distinct style. Some people refer to it as Nujazz, Soul House, or Electro Jazz. Many songs are only a beat, a vocal, and a few flourishes, and the injection of space into the mix and sound means it can hold you entranced in a way that busier, denser deep house mixes frequently can’t. 

Top tracks: Pergi, Saat Itu Juga S.A.X Version, Sinaran Re:Works

3. RAN – RAN for your life

RAN’s music has played a part in our music community for almost twenty years so it’s hard to pick a favourite and I’m just pulling the first one that came to mind that I feel really represents them. And anyone who listens to the RAN for Your Life album carefully, will soon find a formula of various streams or genres of music that merges into RAN. What clearly will be found in this album are forces such as soul-jazzy, pop, rap, hip-hop, and a little dance that merged into one called RAN music.

“Pandangan Pertama”, which became the album’s first single, reminds us of Maliq & D’Essentials’ songs. It’s just that the arrangement feels lighter, youthful, and extremely catchy. “Kembali” is classified as magnetic and danceable. The song opens with an acoustic guitar strum that is greeted with a hip hop boom a la The Neptunes. Production-wise, RAN for your life is no let down. Each instrumental manipulates you into dancing or tapping your toe along thanks to mesmerizing rhythms. Through this album RAN strongly tried to bring a thick sentimental atmosphere. They definitely know how to make a single element of a song pop out and grab you by the ears.

Top tracks: Nothing Lasts Forever, Hanya Untukmu, Kembali

4. Voodoo – D’Angelo

Voodoo is so many things. It is jazz, soul and funk all at once. You can hear hip-hop’s footprint in some of the songs, but it never dominates. It’s like D’Angelo starts out with an idea for a song, but then just lets the rhythm take it wherever he wants to go. Resulting in not just “I wanna lay you down girl” type of tracks, but also tracks ranging in influence from hip hop to Latin to whatever.

Even from the very first moment of “Playa Playa,” it’s easy to hear that Voodoo was mostly made from jam sessions. You hear people in the background talking as a snare is played over and over. Then, a slow burn of a bassline enters the mix, provided by Pino Palladino. 

There is one track here that is absolutely essential, and that’s ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)’. It might be the most sensual song on the album and that’s saying something. The gentle piano notes accentuate the intimacy of the song. The singing is the rawest and most sexually charged of his career. The lyrics are explicit and endearingly sweet. And at the climax of the song, there are finally no restraints on D’angelo’s voice as he belts out. The song ends very suddenly.

This is THE 21st century R&B album. No question. A true masterpiece.

Top tracks: Untitled (How Does It Feel), Send It On, Spanish Joint

5. Kaidi Tatham – In Search Of Hope

For those that don’t know, Kaidi Tatham is a legendary multi-instrumentalist. He’s a virtuoso on the keys and a true innovator in sound production as one of the original creators of the Broken Beat sound. 

When I was digging Kamaal William’s allusions in 2017 or 2018, I came upon Kaidi’s music for the first time. It featured unusual beats that I hadn’t heard before. The song was titled ‘He Laughs, She Cries.’ Then I began to listen to the entire album, and I was obsessed!

This record feels like it pushes the rhythmic frontiers of electronic and dance music in ways that are still uncommon today. While the album keeps it’s present London roots, Tatham was able to extend out musically in a way he hadn’t done previously on record. The bulk of the album’s tracks aren’t in the conventional 4/4 time signature that most modern dance music uses, and several alternate between a variety of time signatures over the course of a few minutes. Kaidi’s ability to easily suck you into his beautiful compositions and arrangements and switch between jazz (fusion), Brazil, funk and hip-hop is always so mind-boggling to me. The (broken beat) music scene would never be the way it is today without Kaidi’s influence. 

To me Kaidi is one of the most gifted musicians out there, so I’m partial to everything he does. He gave life to so many incredible jams in his countless collaborations and sessions!

Top tracks: He Laughs She Cries, So Amazed, These Things Will Passed