Such a colorful array of influences converge on Barra Brown’s debut solo record that it may be more fitting to define it by what it isn’t than by what it is. Not quite at home under the umbrella of “popular” song forms and not purely improvised creative music either, even the album’s title, “LFT:RT,” asserts its resistance to the ease of categorization. Its sound bears little resemblance to the acoustic post-bop drumming of Brown’s work with his straight-ahead quintet, and though it’s easier to hear a thru-line between this record and the ones Brown made as half of the creative beat-making duo Korgy & Bass, there’s no mistaking “LFT:RT” for anything he’s recorded before now.

In fact, one of the only themes uniting Brown’s work as a whole is its restlessness, audible even in the confines of this record, which explodes into maximalist clatters of percussion only to settle back into space-age, midtempo R&B grooves (sometimes, as with album bookends “Ride” and “Wasted Time,” complete with an emcee). An adventure of an album with Brown’s ear for creative rhythmic structures and immaculate production front-and-center, “LFT:RT” inspires listeners to let go of their expectations and just listen. Not a moment is wasted in these jam-packed songs that top out at 3.5 minutes, and trust us, you’ll want to run them all right back as soon as they’re finished.


Stream “LFT:RT” below.

“LFT:RT” is out everywhere on March 5 on Portland’s Cavity Search Records.