Album review: Kaytranda, ‘99.9%’

Few contemporary producers are wedded to a singular sound, but there’s a difference between dabbling in multiple genres and molding them into an original hybrid. Montreal producer Kaytranada achieves the latter on his stellar debut, finding the intoxicating spaces among house, hip-hop, jazz, and neo-R&B, between lush organic instrumentation and banging beats. The album’s title refers to the feeling of never being quite done, but “99.9%” oozes poise and confidence. “Drive Me Crazy” is decadent and tough, cascading synths dropping into a bass-heavy thump while Chicago rapper Vic Mensa laces two standout verses. Kaytranada shows a sparkling chemistry with Anderson Paak on “Glowed Up,” which shifts from a spacey soul flavor to more delicate vocals. “Weight Off” (with BADBADNOTGOOD) builds slowly, gradually adding layers as it develops into a glowing jam session, while “Breakdance Lesson No. 1” evokes the energy of breakers spinning on a cosmic cardboard box. “One Too Many” with Phonte and the warped Brazilian funk of “Lite Spots” are two more glowing cuts on an outstanding premiere.

Martín Caballero

ESSENTIAL “Drive Me Crazy"

Martín Caballero can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @_el_caballero.