Cosmic Transference with Shafiq Husayn’s ‘The Loop’

There is never the correct expectation for when an album may throw you off. There is a preoccupied notion of what albums may come out, when their release is, and what their expected sound may come out to. Shafiq Husayn of Sa-Ra introduced the last weekend of March is an auspicious powerhouse of an album.

Former Stones Throw affiliate and producer for the Alternative Hip-Hop group, Sa-Ra, Shafiq Husayn exposes his next collection of creations with a different spell. The Loop is made up of sixteen tracks. These tracks in tempo and mood may swish and sway back and forth but never loses its symphonic focus.

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Image from afropunk.com

The creations here differ poignantly from his previous Boom-Bap enclaves. For starters, Husayn is not a one-man show. There is a line-up of prominent artists involved in the creation of this masterpiece, which includes dynamic duo Flying Lotus and Thundercat, the queen of soul, Erykah Badu, powerhouse drummer, and singer Anderson .Paak, Neo-Soul poet Bilal, saxophone martyr Kamasi Washington, etc.

With the inclusion of many other sound engineers and instrumentalists, the result of these tracks are flesh-out and developed with thorough passion. Each song here is theatrical in its own right, but don’t act on their own. Each of these tracks acts in accordance with the overall thematic mood of the album. As implied by the gorgeous, blue-shaded album cover by Japanese Artist Tokio Aoyama, this album focuses on uplifting the primal noise within the spirit.

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Image from shafiqhusayn.bandcamp.com

Positive, cosmic flow is the essence of the project. The seamless transition between Neo-Soul instrumentation, Funkmanship, and Hip-Hop drums all dance around in perfect harmony. The intermingling between the various genres serves, to the best of their ability, to bring upon a deluge of positive, cosmic energy.

In the song May I Assume, featuring Jimetta Rose and Fatima, there is a peddling drum snare on repeat, as the array of brass possesses the melody, along with the vocal incantations from the female poets. In the song Show Me How You Feel, featuring Karen Be, the cosmic energy transforms into pure lucid bliss, almost seems like a starry dream. The attention to sonic detail is incredible here, with the notches of glittering chords, echoing vocals, and enchanting drums.

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Image from shafiqhusayn.bandcamp.com

The whole album is enjoyable from beginning to end. It is filled with head-bopping grooves and liquid lusciousness. With the incredible production comes along the attention of ethereal vibrations and psychedelic trances. At times jovial and other points beautiful, there is no sign of bad or idle energy here. Husayn successfully constructed a project of pure bliss.

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