Dawuna | Glass Lit Dream

Astonishing smouldering R&B flex from Brooklyn’s Dawuna, making strong debut moves on the ace O___o? label that gave us LA Timpa’s first record. If u like it slow x dripping in a prince/d’angelo style with intricate. almost concrète production – this is as good as it gets. The debut of the decade? Aye, we reckon v possibly.

Slow baked for a gooey core and crispy texture, and laced with sonic THC, Dawuna’s ‘Glass Lit Dream’ settles on the soul like the time delayed release of a good edible. It’s a hugely accomplished first effort, drawing comparisons with everyone from Tricky to Prince at his wooziest and most downbeat, to the timeless frayed intimacies of Leila’s ‘Like Weather’, or the assymetrc pop skew of Mica & Tirzah, yet patently possessed of its own worries. The magick lies in how Dawuna works them out, channelling a quiet stream of consciousness thru velvet vocals, ranging from aching croon to ASMR whispers, and most nimbly stitched to crunchy drums and nagging licks that feel like Burial and Timbaland productions re-imagined by Bernard Parmegiani.

Occupying a shadowy fidelity that’s too meticulous to be called lo-fi, but clearly not oozing typical R&B gloss, the 10 songs hold a huge amount of broad appeal while boldly reserving the right to fuck with you and switch track at right angles without notice. They play out in mixtape form, crucially bridged with crafty transitions that make it feel like we’re sleepwalking around Dawuna’s dreams between the mechanical knocks, domestic rustle and close miked vox of ‘The Ape Prince’ and bruised blooz of ‘The Lethe, The Sea.’ We’re totally snagged on the stranger Afro-Goth R&B lilt of ‘The General’ (that ends with a remarkable ASMR/concrète spell), and the Timba-tight drums and sore vocal motif of ‘Bad Karma’ lay a proper earworm, while ‘Moon, I already know’ is an unmissable piece of gently curdled, alien gospel recalling a tempered, less flamboyant fusion of Arca and Autre Ne Veut to our lugs. – boomkat


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