You could often categorize beatmaking as more of an exercise in style rather than in aesthetic research, but Elaquent mixes the two necessary components brilliantly. His music represents a journey, as suggested by the Air Canada steward’s speech under Roy Ayers’ melody (“Everybody Loves The Sunshine”) on the album’s opener (“Sunrays”). But if the degree of sunshine here has been revised and reduced, it is only to avoid entering into states of risible dumb-struck optimism.

Resilience is the foundation of the album, a reflection that results in a more elaborate musical narrative than you would normally find in traditional beatmaking. From the tortured melodies of “Moment of Weakness” to the sheer reverie of “Valhalla” and the impish melancholy of “Copacabana,” the Canadian’s music evokes an array of antagonistic emotions, sometimes on the same track.

As required from instrumental music, the album clearly offers a latitude of interpretation that is larger than the composer’s intentions. In a way that is reminiscent of a rainbow Rorschach test, the album’s cover provides an excellent psychoanalytical exercise to do while listening. 

ElaquentBlessing in Disguise (Mello Music Group)

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Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée | With the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union With the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union