Ragz Originale – Nature

Ragz Originale has just released his debut album and the project is a breath of fresh air. But there is precedent. Ragz was there at the beginning of the the scene’s resurgence; producing Skepta’s genre-defining track, ‘Shutdown’, which was one of the catalysts for the formation of grime 2.0. Since then — alongside his Mini Kingz cohort Oscar #Worldpeace — he has released a steady stream of bangers, such as: the Mike Skinner stamped ‘That’s Alright’; the all-star posse cut ‘Clean’, which also features 808Charmer & Knucks and most recently the gyalis anthem ‘Send’.

Off late, Ragz has been more focused on making music for himself, which is very left-leaning in comparison to his earlier work, with him citing James Blake and Flying Lotus as his biggest inspirations. These influences are heard in terms of the production on his latest tape, in that he created all of the beats on it with the help of Kwes; who executive produced the album.  He has also recently been in the studio with FKA Twigs, SOPHIE and Lapsley and this can be felt on this project, as the energy of it is focused around women. Along with the female-centric vibes, the album can be divided into the four elements within Nature.

‘Summer Blues’ serves as our introduction to Nature and is like a deep blue ocean with it’s warm trombone sonics, which Ragz rides with a wavy flow as he croons over a recent heartbreak. As we continue on our journey through Rag’z natural habitat, we come across ‘How far’. The instrumental’s production is as crispy as autumn leaves, and the harmony that Ragz sings alongside the backup singers, gives of an earthy feel.

The tape is now approaching the middle of the voyage and we arrive at ‘Another Way’, where Ragz Originale manages to produce an intergalactic space for his dreamy voice to exist and sings in hopes that him and his partner can find an alternative route to an idyllic relationship. This track also features Ji Nilsson’s heavenly vocals, which bring the song to that next level.

The second half of the concept album begins with ‘Ace Hotel’ and it’s keyboard keys are reminiscent of Beverley Hills Cop’s soundtrack, with it being layered with a snare & kick which is stormy yet controlled. Utilising this, Ragz proceeds to spit a godly verse of how he has Jesus on the line. He continues the heat, with the hot and steamy ‘Endless’. Guitar strums serve as the backdrop for the track and Ragz’s dulcet vocals sit atop the breeze like beat and he sings “I think there’s something in the air”, which we can assume is a tender love.

The last track, ‘She Said Run’, is an upbeat head-nodder and has the fluidity of liquid mercury. CARTAE comes in for the chorus and backs up Ragz as they harmonize about running for your life. The song encapsulates Ragz Originale’s journey in the scene, with him being “En Route” to the plains of musical success. Ragz says that “the record tells a story from my conscience, based on experiences we go through with women. They are the backbones in our lives…whether it’s your mother or your soulmate…”.

Written by /
Published /
October 19
Category /
Album Review