First Thoughts: Tensei – Constellate

New music is always a bit more exciting when you unexpectedly fall on to something which you weren’t really looking for, but, from rummaging around bandcamp I stumbled on an exciting duo culminating out of Chicago. The pair bring with them a wealth of experience and influences into their music, from hip hop, jazz, house, soul, Afrobeats and electronic. Forming the duo are Chris Kramer and Midas Wells, who have been making music together for over ten years, working with the likes of Black Thought, ADaD, Denmark Vessey, Tall Black Guy. Besides that, they’ve also enlisted a range of respected jazz and soul artists from their home turf, such as Makaya McCraven, Kafele, and Greg Spero. What’s more interesting, is producing music isn’t entirely their whole lives’ as Kramer works in the Robotics Field as well as finding time to travel the world, extracting those wanderings into his music. Whereas, Wells’ curiosity for people and how they interact drove him to studying a master’s degree in anthropology.

*This video is for promotional use only*

The duo recently released an impeccably contagious, feel-good 7-track album titled ‘Constellate’. The album drifts on topics which challenge the disparity and growing tension facing many Americans today, and matches that with positivity and perspective. Accompanied with a range of lyricist and vocalist to who help bring their arrangements and instruments to life, with their pensive, thought-provoking lyrics. Tensei create a wonderful soundscape in the opening track; Liquid Tongues, leaving an enchanting moody vibe for Bilal vocals to envelope. Stand out track ‘Amazing’ has some beautifully fresh sounding instruments which are enriched and harmonize Sam Trump’s vocal. Tensei show their range in the closing track; Telemetry, which stretches and layers wonderfully vibrant loops, to Kiara Lainer accompanied vocal hook line.

Have a listen for yourself and support the artist via:

 

Author: Kofi Yeboah

I'm a Music & Culture Journalist, and DJ from London. I worked in radio, events promotions, and content production. .

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