Recommended: 2K – Bootlegs

Hailing from West London, 2K’s emergence in the capital’s underground has been a measured, finely-tuned one. As an advocate for slow music, that’s just how he likes it; His creations posit more gradual rhythms as a chance to take in surroundings and grow. We highlighted his SHANTI edit, “SHANTI CRISIS (2K’S EARTHLY LOOP)”, in our Sunday’s Best series this time last year. It’s a meditative earworm that embeds itself in your thinking space and encourages you to embrace your ruminations as its bass envelops you. Themed in the vein of Jam City, it wears its influences on its sleeves like feelings, just as 2K’s heartbroken mixes do. Over this past year, he’s held down a presence on the decks through radio shows and function sets, notably making appearances with London’s Endless as Paradise. Paying close attention to his SoundCloud uploads has paid dividends, though it’s been no mean feat. Now, however, 2K offers us something tangible to hold from beyond the ephemeral portal: ten mutations in the form of BOOTLEGS [2017].

The pack of edits, blends and loops juxtaposes hip-hop staples, grime instrumentals, R’n’B acapellas and damaged riddims to forge a solid representation of the singular 2K sound. “FREAK LOOP (2K’S EDIT)” washes Krept, Konan and Jeremih’s voices with swirling atmospherics, stuttering bass and delicate keys before hanging them out to dry – not a kick drum in sight. Pitching down Ashanti and Destiny’s Child turns songs we claim to know inside-out into entirely different beasts, with new textural nuances and melodic landscapes to appreciate in their weighted voices. 2K has a knack for finding alternative perspectives to unlock secrets in things we already enjoy, like a videogame expansion pack or DLC that changes everything. It’s through this that “Only U” can fuse with Ruff Sqwad’s “Together” to become a Hype Williams-esque, lo-fi deep sea dive, and “Lose My Breath” can switch to tortoise from hare yet still leave you gasping for air.

There’s an impressive range of moods explored in the pack. “SHANTI PALETA (2K’S DEMONICO EDIT)” moves militantly with the percussion, while leaving the window open for the same vulnerability that incubates “I KEEP FALLING (2K’S DISTRICT LINE EDIT)”. Only the truest of romantics would pair Iron Soul with Pretty Ricky, and the collision of legendary beats on “WOOO CLIPSE (2K’S LOOP)” is boisterous to the point of being downright irresponsible. The pack contains both tracks to inspire mixes and tracks that can glue sets together. As well as making for beautiful home listening, BOOTLEGS [2017] is the kind of release that excites and hypes you up to jump on the decks and get to DJing.

2K – Bootlegs [2017] is out now and available here.

Tayyab Amin

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