Makala Cheung – River [Album Review]

Makala Cheung – River [Album Review]

Posted On: November 14, 2013
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Hailing from Bristol Makala Cheung has been causing a bit of a stir with her some what raw but pioneering oriental tinged dubstep electronica. Now we get here first LP River and it is what I would regard as the foundations of a sound.

As far as production, River picks up where dubstep left off in 2008 which is definitely not a bad thing considering that most of the innovation in this genre took place at this time and dubstep since then has become formulaic and rather generic.

Taking influence from Makala’s oriental background we get a lot of deep stripped down bass beats which are punctated by instruments like the Chinese Lute and the Bamboo Flute which as are not typically heard in R&B production creates a novel aesthetic which is very pleasing to the ear.

Vocally I find that things start getting interesting at ‘Bristol Beat’ and when we get to my personal favourites like ‘Caught Up’ and ‘Carry You’ we have some really mature songwriting and vocal delivery.

‘Get It Down’ with ridiculously funky bouncing ball bassline and MC’s features of Mos Deep, Deep & Miss Twist is a full fledged head nodder along with ‘Caught Up’ I would mark as great starting points for the direction for her sophomore album. ‘Carry You’ especially with it’s stripped back Piano and bamboo flute instrumentation against Makala’s voice is simply spine tingling.

Makala Cheung is a multi faceted artist who is clearly exploring her art and testing the boundaries of  her creativity, River is raw, imperfect but much like The Sugababes were on Overload this is but the first phase of a very intriguing artist. I hope in the bid to gain mainstream appeal Makala doesn’t lose the qualities which make her so compelling.

River is released on Chinese New Year Friday 31st Jan 2014

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I’ll be your river ~K



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