The debut album from one half of hip-hop duo Messiah J & The Expert, Dynamic Drift grabs the listeners attention not by brute force, but by creating a world between different styles and eras that feels fully realised and subtly cinematic, with it’s opening track Short Trips serving as a wonderful opening credits sequence for the work that follows. The Expert might occasionally sample film dialogue as a crutch, but it’s his seamless marriage of genre’s that really sticks.
The album is a rich, compelling but simultaneously laid-back collection of songs which touch on soul, funk, jazz and disco, coming across like classic Massive Attack by way of DJ Shadow. The Expert has the good sense to never let a song or idea overstay it’s welcome, ensuring the album lives up to it’s name. You’ll find no stretched-out, experimental “jams” here (no song reaches the four minute mark), The Expert instead places emphasis on brevity.
On songs like Problems and Devine The Expert seamlessly bridges the gap between his modern beats and the classic soul he samples, creating an album that feels beautifully out of time. An album such as this is about showing off what it’s creator can do, but try to cram too much and the record sounds disjointed. The Expert manages to express a wide range of styles and atmospheres, but also a consistent tone that makes the album as a whole, rather than individual tracks, worth revisiting.
If you’re looking for an album that can soundtrack anything from your morning coffee to a somewhat classy pre-drinks, this is the one for you. Wonderfully mellow but totally engrossing, Dynamic Drift is, an absolute winner.
Standout Tracks: Problems, Rainy Night and Devine.