Sounds Out: Chris Kabs – Y NOT

Posted 5 months ago in Music Reviews

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Electronic vocals open Y NOT, the debut EP from award-winning Dublin Irish/African artist, producer, and DJ, Chris Kabs. The project was triggered, in part, by Kabs’ experience working with the late Californian hip-hop legend Coolio prior to his untimely passing in September of last year. “I sat with the words of Coolio, ‘gather up your pity and turn it into ambition’, so I refocused my attention on this new EP” Kabs recalls of the creative process. “It’s been a journey of ups and downs, but we got there in the end.”

Opening with the futuristic Go Back, Y NOT finds Kabs combining oft-contrasted aspects of diverse music cultures together to create something truly timeless. With elements of tropicana on Nobody, the African-drum styled Pushing or the drill-infused Good, the project is an active exploration of Kabs’ African heritage and its rich and textured culture. Throughout the project, and on its opener in particular, Kabs jumps between languages across his verses effortlessly; showcasing everything from English and French to Swahilli without taking a breath.

The one constant is Kabs’ effortless vocal styles which show enough variation to keep listeners engaged. It’s clear Kabs knows his limitations and wouldn’t be caught aiming for a falsetto, but his lower register in its own right is a splendour and offers a sense of gravitas and weight to each track that other artist often struggle to capture.

As a body of work, Y NOT is a wonderful introduction to an artist still taking the early steps out from behind the production desk. If Y NOT is any indicator, it’s clear Chris Kabs is heading in the right direction.

Chris Kabs – Y NOT


Words: Cailean Coffey


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