OTTN (On to the Next)
As someone who turned to music after feeling unsatisfied by his architecture degree, IJALE radiates promise on his newly chosen path. Following through on the title of his 2020 release Wildly Disparate Sounds, the Melbourne producer/vocalist showcases his many moods and modes on this winding yet commanding mixtape. Fans of his slinky R&B turns like “Hotlines” will appreciate the lush opener “MI GORENG,” produced by California-based beatsmith Binfolks and delivered with the intimacy of a diary entry. From there, he confidently holds court over the wobbly trap beats of “CURFEW” before providing a sensual freestyle on “BACK UP.” Featuring Yung Shōgun and ThatKidMaz, “LIKE THAT” is busier and more upbeat, while “CONNECT” makes a palpable playground out of squelchy EDM textures. And as a producer himself, he nails his stated mission of blending modern motifs with both evergreen Afrocentric influences and specific cues to his Nigerian heritage.