inc. is the brainchild of LA-based brothers Dan and Andrew Aged. They may look like they have the same personal stylist as Peter Andre, but their debut album “no world” is a slice of minimal R&B with a new jack vibe that sounds smoother than a porn star’s privates.
The brothers have worked as session musicians for artists like Pharrell, 50 Cent and Raphael Saadiq, and it seems that they learnt a few tricks from these heavyweights. The fact they started out as producers and session players also gives “no world” the aura of an album made by studio hermits that have effortlessly tuned into a style that inspires them. It’s been well received by many critics, but a lukewarm review in Pitchfork pushed the band to unleash a Twitter tirade, telling the blogsters they “need a mission statement, no one knows what you are about. cause its not music. or culture. or progress”. They proceeded to ask them to “remove any word you have ever said about us”. Spicy.
The duo are clearly fixated with the sound of the eighties, but this is offset by a modern edge (such as trap-style speedy hi-hats) that saves their music from becoming a pastiche of that decade’s urban soul. The stand out track on the album, ‘Lifetime’, bears the hallmark of this obsession, its old-school groove reminiscent of artists such as Bell Biv Devoe and the perfect soundtrack for seduction. It does include the line “I can see a lifetime in your eyes” though, which in contrast should not be used when trying to impress the opposite sex unless your target market has a particular penchant for cheesiness.
The release of the album is well-timed, considering the current resurgence of slow jam R&B. Artists such as Miguel and Frank Ocean have recently achieved worldwide acclaim with their experimentations in the sub-genre, and fans and artists immersed in the scene are multiplying by the minute. However, it lacks the lyrical finesse of Frank Ocean’s work and is slightly low on hooks and memorable melodies. Still, the album’s whispered vocals and layered soundscapes create a smoke-filled ambience that is difficult to dislike. Stick it on, sink back, and see what we mean…