Contemporary hip-hop/jazz liaison and master producer Terrace Martin has released DRONES, his latest solo project, via his Sounds of Crenshaw imprint.
The 13-track offering pulls liberally from a range of stylistic wells, melding jazz with hip-hop, lush soundscapes with synth-soul melodies, off-kilter R&B with conscious poetry. While billed as an album by Terrace Martin, DRONES brings a decorated cast of collaborators to bear including Kendrick Lamar, Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington, Ty Dolla $ign, James Fauntleroy, Snoop Dopp, Cordae, Arin Ray, Smino, Celeste, Channel Tres, Malaya, YG, Leon Bridges, Kim Burrell, and more.
The album arrived on a wave of praise on Friday. As Kamasi Washington said in an Instagram post directed at Martin, which called DRONES a “masterpiece,” “This album is so beautiful! You’ve always been ahead of the game but wow, this one is on another level! Thank you for always pushing the music forward.” Glasper, who echoed Washington’s sentiments in a post of his own, noted that Martin had been working on DRONES for several years as he continued to pump out other material.
DRONES marks the producer’s first solo project since 2016’s Velvet Portraits, though he has released several albums with various collaborative projects in the interim. Last year, he linked up with Glasper, Washington, and 9th Wonder as Dinner Party for a pair of collaborative LPs, Dinner Party and Dinner Party: Dessert. Martin and Glasper also recently released a new live record with their collaborative project, R+R=Now.
Martin’s prolific output extends well beyond his own creations. In addition to lending his unique sound to acclaimed projects like Kamasi’s Heaven and Earth (2018) and arranging much of Lamar’s lauded 2015 opus, To Pimp A Butterfly, Martin recently traveled the country as part of jazz-fusion legend Herbie Hancock‘s backing band.
Listen to DRONES, the new album from Terrace Martin, on the platform of your choice here. You can also listen via Spotify and watch the kaleidoscopic video for the album’s pseudo-mission statement, “Leimert Park”, below.
Terrace Martin – DRONES – Full Album
Terrace Martin – “Leimert Park” (Official Video)
[Video: Sounds of Crenshaw]