Hi all and welcome once again to Saturday Selections! This week’s Selection is the first album from French instrumental hiphop producer KOGNITIF: My Space World.
Instrumental hiphop is arguably my favorite style of music, and KOGNITIF isn’t exactly a household name, even among people who know the genre. Talking with anyone about instrumental hiphop, some of the first names to come up will probably be DJ Shadow, Bonobo and, above all others, Nujabes. Nujabes is widely considered one of, if not the, great instrumental hiphop producers of all time, and I’ve been hitting his discography really hard over the past few weeks. Even though I was deep in the throes of a musical addiction, I made time between Nujabes albums to listen through My Space World a number of times. My point in all this is that, when switching from Nujabes to KOGNITIF, I experienced exactly zero auditory disappointment. What I’m saying, in other words, is that whether or not his name is recognizable just yet, KOGNITIF can play with the big boys.
My Space World is an amazing album. I have a few particular favorite tracks — “Silk Street“, “Soul and Blade“, “Before Long“, and “Global Issues” — but there isn’t a single track on the album that isn’t really good. Going even beyond my favorite songs, however, is one that I am simply blown away by. Track two on My Space World is “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”, KOGNITIF’s cover of Led Zeppelin’s famous blues ballad.
For those of you who don’t know, I am pretty into Led Zeppelin. I’m one of those people who will always list them among my favorite bands, even when it has been months since I’ve listened to them, and I definitely consider them to be among the greatest artists of all time. That said, Zeppelin remixes are a no-no. I’m not saying it’s impossible to cover Zeppelin songs well, just that I would never in a million years expect a hiphop remake of a Zeppelin song to be anything but a train wreck…
But KOGNITIF absolutely kills it!
Mixing the classic Zeppelin song with newsreel excerpts about an American radio preacher who was predicting the end of world on May 21 (unspecified year), KOGNITIF somehow manages to make a song that is already famous for its haunting, aching beauty, even more haunting than it was before.
Check out Zeppelin’s original song first, and then have your mind blown by KOGNITIF’s cover.
My Space World is available for purchase on KOGNITIF’s bandcamp, and I’m going to go ahead and embed the whole album right here for your listening pleasure.
Have a great week everyone, see you next time!