Label: Shogun AudioScore: 8/10
The difficult second album. Sophomore jinx. Two overused and clichéd terms chucked around when a musician moves onto album number two. No clichés here though, as Alix Perez follows up his seminal debut 1984 with a collection of striking and varied beats on his new long player, Chroma Chords.
If you’re expecting a direct copy of his first album then you’ll be slightly disappointed. Not that it suffers for it in anyway. Granted there are moments of similarity in parts. Foreign Beggars are back, this time making two appearances on Move Aside and gritty headnodder Monolith. The latter also features the mighty Jehst, his vivid wordplay making sure his verse is the standout of the lot. We Could Have been, laced with the smooth vocal tone of D.Ablo, is definitely what I would call Chroma Chords’ own Forsaken moment. Soulful, musical and sublime. Sam Wills, singer on lead single Annie’s Song, gets his chance to shine again on another of the LP’s choice cuts The End Of Us. His vocals are catchy without feeling like it delves into being cheesy. Showcasing a more diverse soundscape, Chroma Chords more than dips its toes into different tempos. Tracks such as album open Crystals, title track Chroma Chords and the beautiful Broken Heart (a collab with Two Inch Punch) all lend themselves more to hip hop with their glitched out, groove heavy production.
It would’ve been easy for Alix Perez to simply copy and paste what he’d done on 1984. Its formula was successful the first time round. However, Chroma Chords instead sounds like an album from a producer who’s grown and matured since his eponymous debut. It’s guest vocalist and MC’s make it feel more rounded than most albums you see in dance music nowadays.