Basic Volume

Gaika - Basic Volume
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2018 Ratings: #419 / 829
User Score
Based on 92 ratings
2018 Ratings: #943
July 27, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Warp / Label
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The Independent

On his debut album Basic Volume, Gaika breaks new ground on the UK music scene and asserts himself as one of the most provocative and multitalented young artists of this generation.

The Line of Best Fit
Gaika is not just the artist we want, but the artist society desperately needs.
A.V. Club

Basic Volume is noisy and abrasive, but it’s also frequently beautiful, and it speaks as loudly as it takes to be heard.

Loud and Quiet
Over the next few months the scope of Gaika’s debut will only expand, as listeners dive into its rich pool of sounds.

Basic Volume is a strong, distinctive debut from a promising artist whose maturity and versatility are already apparent, highly recommended for fans of electronic music and dancehall.

Crack Magazine

If Spaghetto saw GAIKA ascend as rightful heir to power, Basic Volume sees the Brixton-born artist asserting his dominance and establishing a dynasty.

The Guardian
This is a terrifically impressive and populist debut that can speak to anyone trying to deal with our fractious world.
The Observer
For all Gaika’s articulacy ... the downbeat haze in which he operates privileges numbness over passion and ire, qualities his arresting music merely hints at, rather than weaponises.
Gaika's debut album builds on the sound of his previous mixtapes and EPs, constructing harrowing soundscapes from elements of dancehall, grime, industrial, and trap.
Tiny Mix Tapes
This is what Batman would sing, alone, to himself, in his Batcave on a night where no Bat-Signal signals, if he could sing, which he can’t.
I reaaaaally want to like this album; it's a step towards pushing U.K. hip-hop into interesting, more cutting-edge territory. The production is consistently interesting; I can totally see why Warp Records picked him up with its heavy electronic influences. The lyrics are also very important as he highlights big social issues in the UK concerning race and police brutality. It's an important record, but...

I really don't like these vocals. Every track feature these dejected, lifeless vocals that ... read more
EDIT: I still heavily fuck with this album, but the blurb from the TMT review is pretty hilarious, and not entirely inaccurate.

A well composed, surprisingly dark (gothic?) dancehall album. It kind of sounds like Popcaan's evil twin, but with smarter lyrics and a socially conscious edge. Gaika's vocals are a bit Future-ish in how washed out they are in certain songs, but the melodies, the production, and the especially mood really make this a satisfying listen for me.

Favorite tracks: Crown ... read more
Urgh, I find this album so frustrating because deep down I know I’d be all over this if it weren’t for the often underwhelming, overproduced vocals that I find too artificial to really grab onto and immerse myself in. I’ve not got an issue with layered or modulated vocals but on here, rawer ones would definitely be more beneficial, especially with the dreary, regularly enthral backdrop that Gaika works with. There are quite a few strong moments lyrically here as well but it ... read more
The production on here sounds like ass
Brilliant debut. Here comes the star!
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Track List

  1. Basic Volume
  2. Hackers & Jackers
  3. Seven Churches for St Jude
  4. Ruby
  5. Born Thieves
  6. 36 Oaths
  7. Black Empire (Killmonger Riddim)
  8. Grip
  9. Clouds, Chemists and the Angel Gabriel
  10. Immigrant Sons (Pesos & Gas)
  11. Close to the Root
  12. Yard
  13. Crown & Key
  14. Warlord Shoes
  15. Spectacular Anthem
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Added on: July 13, 2018