Mr Jukes & Barney Artist - 'The Locket'

7/10

When Bombay Bicycle Club's Jack Steadman first announced his Mr Jukes project back in 2017, it was designed as an adventurous journey into a more hip-hop focused space, something that would separate him from anything he had done before. And with artists like Lianne La Havas, De La Soul, and BJ The Chicago Kid all keen to collaborate with him on his debut LP 'God First', it was evident from the start that he was onto something very special. But after a few years back with his formative outfit, he now breaks free again to work exclusively with emerging rapper Barney Artist on the new studio album 'The Locket', a record that looks to build a more cohesive sound.

The big difference between this and his previous work is obviously the presence of another artist that he can bounce ideas off. Rather than simply work around whichever name happened to be on the track, Barney Artist creates this smooth and consistent energy throughout the release, making for a cohesive and succinct collection that explores a multitude of dynamic hip-hop influences. Much like the team up between DJ Format and Abdominal, these two work together to produce something a bit different from their usual guises, and showcase their inventive nature throughout.

In all, 'The Locket' is a warm and inviting flurry of seductive rhythms that sees Steadman advance his production kudos and Barney Artist make a bold impression as one of the more exciting new names emerging on the UK's underground hip-hop scene. This is the legacy that A Tribe Called Quest established in the 90s, and makes for a enjoyable listen at almost every turn.

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