A lot of musical collaborations happen because of the sales potential the match-up suggests, or perhaps just for collaboration’s sake, but sometimes such a thing occurs because the pieces fit perfectly—they compliment each other in a way that enhances the listening experience. I’d confidently say the latter is the case with K.Raydio and Psymun.
The two have worked together a few times before. In fact, on 2013’s joint production by Psymun and Damacha titled SSV3, they had three songs together. When I reviewed that album I wrote, “Upon hearing these three tracks I envisioned the possibility of a full album and how intoxicating it would likely sound.” When the article posted I got an email from Psymun telling me that my thought was correct and they were indeed working on an album together. It was nice to hear my vision become the subject of a future reality, and eventually fulfill expectations with LucidDreamingSkylines.
Psymun has a knack for slow and moody beats that often find a balance between melancholy and colorful beauty. I think a suitable visual to his music would be a slow-motion video of an array of the most beautiful flowers dying in the most poetic way possible. K.Raydio has an alluring and sensuous voice that taps into your emotions. She has a similar quality to the production; even when the subject matter or vibe has a feeling of sadness, it is difficult to fight the simultaneous urge to smile and feel good. It’s the musical equivalent of tears of joy and pain mixed together, if I may be so dramatic…which I clearly am.
The album is successful at maintaining a cohesive feel, while at the same time adding some slight, but effective, variations to the musical textures and character to keep the ears perked up and mind engaged. Speaking of diversity, K.Raydio is great at switching her flow up from a classic, soulful singing approach to a style that is more conversational, almost MC-like, while maintaining a great melodic quality. This is best witnessed on songs such as “Sweet Dreamz,” “Yearbook,” and “Perhaps,” which leans heavily toward the conversational vibe. The album’s lone vocal guest is Greg Grease on “Lobby Music,” and as soon as you hear him begin his verse you realize how stylistically perfect a fit he is to the album’s experience.
K.Raydio and Psymun haven’t just collaborated, they have used musical alchemy to melt and mix their respective styles together and create the appropriately titled LucidDreamingSkylines. Listen and become one with the experience.
Kevin Beacham hosts hip-hop show H2 with Siddiq on the Current every Wednesday night at 10 p.m.