Kaytranada tweeted "Strictly for Kaytranada fans" immediately after releasing '0.001%' via Soundcloud with the caption "beats, loops, remixes and sounds made during the process of 99.9%".
Lucky for us at Keakie, we are in fact fans of Kaytranada! Posted as a single, hour and twenty-seven minute song to Soundcloud, you may wonder what this project is considered to be. Is it a mixtape, a dj mix, or just a really long song? The beauty of this project is that it fits into all of these categories. Broken up, this mix is around fifty songs varying between thirty seconds and three minutes in length.
Before we dive into the sounds of this project, the name itself deserves mention, '0.001%'. Following '99.9%', some may want to contend Kaytranada's counting ability. Kaytra stifled this noise with a tweet simply saying "stop doing the math and listen to my tape mang" This controversy may be further shutdown considering Kaytranada announced a mixtape that would feature a lot of harder rap verses, which would likely be '0.01%' or something along that theme. It's safe to believe Kaytranada is planning out the names of these titles, rather than exposing his own lack of math skills.
Kaytranada brings vocals
Firstly, even if you are a fan of Kaytranada's music, you may not really know what his voice sounds like. Usually Kaytranada will let his guest performer do all the vocal work while he handles the production. To the surprise of the listener we actually get to hear Kaytranada himself quite a few times over the course of this tape. He intros the project asking "How ya doin'?" and then says "zero point zero one one one one oneaahh", continuing with a frantic yell over a pleasant piano beat. This really set the tone for the amount of experimentation that would take place throughout this and much of Kaytra's work.
Kaytra would continue his rare vocal freedom starting tracks with "Kaytra, drop that heat." and "Get busy on em!" He gives shout outs to several people he's been known to collaborate with, such as Mick Jenkins and BadBadNotGood. There's a part where he says "Nothin' but the dog in me!" adding to the bit where Kaytra combined his signature sounds with the sounds of George Clinton's classic 'Atomic Dog'.
The 'beats' section of this project, which is roughly the first third or so, is a rush of different feelings and vibes. At one moment you may feel like you're bouncing through space, and the next you may feel like you're on a jungle safari adventure.. There are swingy jazz beats then there are industrial knockers. One minute it's chill, the next it's trancey. One thing is for certain, it's always groovy. There are some sudden change-ups, but for the most part the transitions are really smooth. We think this project has sort of a "scrappy" feel, and it's actually quite redeeming. At one point Kaytranada says "Free Freddie Gibbs", who has since been acquitted of all charges, and later yells "..only beats mothafucka only beats!"
Following the beats portion there's a similar amount if not more loops, which may be a little tough to distinguish from the beats. There are a lot of fun jams in this section no doubt. Sometimes the vibe will be ethnic, others it will be deep and murky, and sometimes it will be slower and sexy. What they all have in common is the ability to make you dance, which is a fantastic thing. The fact that every song is so danceable ends up being this projects biggest flaws, and we mean that seriously. This is something you've likely experienced if you've seen live EDM... You can only keep doing your dance moves for so long before you have to conserve your energy and just bounce your head instead. Luckily for us, Kaytranada supplies head-nodding tracks throughout the entirety of '0.001%'.
Remixes and sounds
Then there were the remixes. A good amount of the sweetness in this candy lies in the remixes. The first notable remix is Chance the Rapper's 'All Night' which is immediately followed by a remix of "U Don't Have To Call" by Usher, this made for an incredibly nice moment on the project. There are a couple of extremely groovy loops before Alicia Keys supplies some wonderful vocals from her song "Girlfriend" and the remix of SBTRKT's 'The Light' starts at the exact one hour mark and is so great it feels as if we're being rewarded for listening that far in. This streak of seemingly lengthy tracks is only continued by unheard collaborations with a Anderson .Paak, Chet Faker, and an extremlely wavy Joey Bada$$. The last few songs in particular feel extremely high quality and punctuate the fact that there were a lot of good sounds cut from '99.9%' album.
It's hard to criticize Kaytranada for cutting certain sounds and songs from his debut album because he certainly has creative vision. The sounds that Kaytranada pulled together for this project hit a wide array of feels. They can be groovy with horns and they can be groovy with pianos. They can be slow, fast, scary or sexy. We can sit here at Keakie and name off adjectives for this mixtape all day long, but at the end of the day it's just groovy.
'0.001%' is a journey worth taking
We think that as fantastic as '0.001%' is, it doesn't live up to it's mother album, '99.9%', A major reason for that is due to the lack of coherence and concept of this project. If you made a movie-length montage of Kaytranada creating '99.9%', '0.001%' would be an appropriate soundtrack. This tape really just feels extremely appropriate to throw on at almost any time, and that's why it's so great.
Experience KAYTRANADA's journey that is '0.001%' for yourself.