I remember the first time I ever heard ‘Core’. The single from RL Grime’s iconic album VOID changed the way I listened to electronic music forever. Many producers have echoed this belief over the years. There was nothing average about the entirety of VOID. In almost every way it stood out as the pinnacle of sound design and production at the time of its release. After many years of waiting, sometimes patiently, sometimes desperately, the world is now able to listen to NOVA the follow up to 2014’s VOID. One question rests on everyone’s mind: Was it worth the wait? In short – absolutely.
RL Grime – NOVA
Henry Alfred Steinway is a truly talented individual. At only 27 years old, the Los Angeles based artist has left an impact on electronic music with his two monikers. The universally adored RL Grime, and the (unofficially) since-retired Clockwork. When the genre of Trap is discussed RL Grime is always part of the conversation. The genre would be nowhere close to as prolific as it is today with his contributions to the sound. NOVA though introduces a new side that we have not yet heard before from RL. While VOID was a masterpiece in its own right, it now appears as a teenager whereas NOVA is a tailored young professional. While VOID was aggressive, intense, and hard-hitting, NOVA is sophisticated, matured, measured, and innovative.
The album opens up with ‘Feel Free’. In a way, the track makes it apparent immediately that while NOVA has more depth than its predecessor it is in no way lacking in intensity. The LP has countless tracks which will make any listener’s jaw drop in terms of high energy, sound design bending productions. That being said, the album does an excellent job including records that are sublimely subtle and downright beautiful. ‘Run For You’ and ‘Atoms’ are two songs which immediately come to mind as more low key tunes that contain a depth and weight we have not yet heard from RL Grime. These shimmering gems help break up the full frontal assault of trap beats present throughout.
OG Fans Do Not Worry…
Fans of the harder side of RL Grime have literally nothing to be worried about. Tunes like ‘Reims’, ‘UCLA’ and ‘Rainer’ help hold the anticipated level of intensity many fans had for the album. Overall NOVA is a journey through the world of Trap. RL Grime does a masterful job paying homage to the hip-hop roots of the genre while once again changing the way trap will be produced for the foreseeable future.
NOVA is easily one of the most impressive albums on 2018. To say that it was well worth the wait is an understatement. Albums like this only come around every couple of years. If the world needs to wait four years for RL Grime to develop another showstopping LP such as this, then we should do so patiently. RL Grime is back and arguably better than ever. Check out the full album below.