Over the past few years, South African producer Jakk Wonders has carved out a niche in the beat scene by delivering thematic projects that showcase his deep love for the craft, and incredible ear for samples. And he continues that trend today with the release of YEN, a collection of 12 head-nodding instrumentals built on music from the Far East.
Although Wonders may hail from Johannesburg, he’s been known to take listeners on audio trips to other locales, including France on this year’s great French Tobacco release. And with YEN, it’s all about exploring the sounds of countries like China, Japan, and the Koreas—with a raw, Boom bap aesthetic.
You can tell that Wonders has a great appreciation for the music he’s sampling, too, and his fondness is palpable on several of the standout tracks. “Tokyo Drive” bangs and burns like the soundtrack to an old-school beat-’em-up game (think the arcade/SEGA classic Streets of Rage), while “Polaroid” and “Supreme” demonstrate a warmth and playfulness from the producer. That’s not to mention the super-mellow vibes of “Kashmir,” a cut that’s almost devoid of drums and serves as a jazzy interlude to the affair.
No matter which particular sound or style he’s mining, Wonders succeeds on the strength of his clearly honed production talents. YEN is an impressive, cohesive listen from an artist who needs to be on your radar. And at the rate he’s dropping consistently strong projects, chances are he’ll be on catching plenty of ears very, very soon.
YEN is now available for stream, exclusively via Audiomack, where it’s currently trending in their instrumental section. Be sure to check out his other releases via Audiomck, including his stellar, Kings County-themed beat tape, Peace II Brooklyn!
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