Kaytranada’s debut ‘99.9%’ is damn good, but it’s not as close to perfection as the title suggests
The music of Montreal’s Kaytranada evokes a big night out on the turps, when one minute you’re in a state of pure bliss, and the next you’re vomiting up Jägerbombs in some piss-soaked alleyway. 99.9%, the Hatian-Canadian’s debut album, is an altered state unto itself, a heady brew of nocturnal beats and cosmopolitan appeal.
Opening cut ‘Track Uno’ is drunk on French house filters and wigged-out synth bass. ‘Together,’ meanwhile, is graced with production worthy of Alan Braxe in his prime; Disclosure wish they could write a floor-filler this good. Vic Mensa stumbles into the foreground on ‘Drive Me Crazy,’ a club-ready meditation on the allure of sex, drugs, and rock and/or roll. Crystalline synths are lit up by shining trap hi-hats and electric guitar pyrotechnics.
The effervescent grooves of 99.9% are intoxicating, but they come with a caveat: there’s only so much the listener can take. Clocking in at an hour, the album leaves you feeling seedy once it’s over. As much a house record as it is a hip-hop record, 99.9% often defies classification, but never abandons its skew-whiff take on contemporary dance music. This is psychedelic soul for the twenty-first century. Just go easy on it.