If you’re looking for a batch of new music talent, listening to Loose Grip Mixtape by Jamie Isaac isn’t a bad place to start. It’s the first ever mixtape from the 20-year-old beat maker, which arrives ahead of his highly anticipated upcoming debut album. As if Isaac’s standalone work wasn’t divine enough, the mixtape features the work of a tight knit group of talented individuals – most of which hailing from London – and reads like a who’s who list of the freshest names in music right now.
Isaac is joined by Rejjie Snow to open proceedings with ‘Last Drip’, a steamy, atmospheric number that sweeps around in heady motions. The pair know how to make a first impression, delivering sensual vibes in heavy doses. Up next is ‘CNT U SEE’ featuring Jadasea, and here things immediately take a diversion. From the wandering bass to the layers of piano and brass, the jazz influences come in thick and fast, which are perfectly offset with the distant echoes of the drumbeat and sturdy rap. This is the first of two versions of ‘CNT U SEE’, the second having been remixed by Mr Malarky. This time, it’s the percussion that nods most overtly to jazz, while the overall sound takes on a relaxed yet decidedly skewed quality.
In between the two comes ‘Know U Like Me’, the product of a beautiful collaboration between Isaac and Edgar The Beatmaker, one of King Krule’s monikers. The distorted vocals, R&B rhythms and all-round haunting dynamic make for a stimulating effect, which merits the other appearances from Edgar The Beatmaker on the 10-track mixtape. Clearly a match made in heaven, he returns twice more, contributing to ‘Staying With Me All Night’ and ‘All My Days’. The former similarly bends vocals but the dynamic is more intense this time, while the latter plays around with synth, which collapse and inflate for the opening 90 seconds before dropping into a darker territory.
Jesse James is a name that crops up several times, too. Featuring first on ‘Mother’s Love Don’t Stretch’, his sleepy vocals blend effortlessly with the floating piano and smooth beat. James returns to close the mixtape, which finishes with a second rendition of ‘Know U Like Me’. This time remixed by Rago Foot, the energy is more upbeat than Edgar The Beatmaker’s trippy version, making for a double hit of music pleasure.
Silky piano melodies crop back up in ‘Find The Words’ – the JI edit that seamlessly straddles smooth R&B tones and grainy, refined percussion – as well as in a different manner in ‘PINTY’S Interlude’. The latter is remixed by MC Pinty, who delivers a crisp, toe-tapping number that brings everything back down to earth.
What we can take away from the mixtape is twofold: firstly, if these artists aren’t already on your radar, you’d better make sure they are pronto. Secondly, the release of Jamie Isaac’s debut album is one to put in the diary. Contrary to what the mixtape’s title may have you believe, Isaac certainly has a firm grip on the quality of music he’s releasing to the world.
Listen to Loose Grip Mixtape below.