The Lesser Known EP is what happens when innovative production collides with a voice unafraid of standing out.
The collaborative effort on The Lesser Known EP is split between Goya Gumbani providing the vocal performances whilst Kiina delivers strongly Jazz influenced production. Goya Gumbani is a New York native that currently resides in Catford, South East London whilst Kiina is a Scottish producer and DJ. Together they create the ambience of being in a smoked out underground live music spot in New York, where you would only find music lovers and the best hidden talent.
The 9 track EP is not your standard affair considering Gumbani is a rapper. But his style of Rap makes it so that he still sits comfortably amongst the experimental production. His delivery is quite similar to that of spoken word which is no stranger to working alongside Jazz and similar realms of music. The Lesser Known is welcoming and introspective, the steady, sultry tone of Gumbani laid over the languid crackling of Kiina’s instrumentation and sample manipulation, indulgence without excess. The tone of this project is entrenched in a haze of consciousness, with Goya emerging from the peppered bass lines with insights delivered in his signature laconic style.
It’s the project you didn’t know you needed. Its mellow nature makes it extremely easy listening, largely due to the amazing use of instrumentation. Kiina does a great job of creating Jazz inspired sounds, rather than simply replicas of Jazz beats. It’s the way he masterfully gets some of Jazz’s most recognisable elements across that help create the vibe, but it is the Soul and Hip-Hop tweaks that really elevate the production into something exciting. It is something that any music lover can appreciate, regardless of preferred genre.
For me, the standout track on The Lesser Known has to be ‘Blasé’. It feels like one of the more experimental records in that it seems to have included more musical aspects typical from sounds other than Jazz. With the more classic Hip-Hop feeling it almost brings Gumbani out of his accustomed more lackadaisical style into a delivery with more energy and urgency. This switch up gives it a standout nature and also makes it an extremely suitable track for the midpoint of the project as it is almost a palette cleanser and makes the tracks that follow hit with new vigour.
All in all, The Lesser Known is a very solid project. It might not be people’s typical musical sound of choice, but if anything could convince people over closer to the side of Jazz this is it. With its boldness in attempting to push boundaries, it does a good job of doing so without coming across as monotonous or straying too far from the sound that it draws inspirations from.