Album Review: 'Ground Control to Astroknot' by Astroknot

 Photo credit: Clayton Hillyard

Photo credit: Clayton Hillyard

Recording artist and producer Astrokot recently released his latest project Ground Control to Astroknot. The project is a blend of current hip-hop industry trends and indie references. The record includes some major features on the album including Goldyard, Curtis Williams of Two9, LA, Neeks and Jade Dhooghe.

The title track "Astroknot to Ground Control," starts off with a cinematic saw bass and clipping mechanical high hats that get louder as the song motions towards the first verse. Lyrically, the first track serves as a credo or a mission statement for who Astroknot is and what he plans to do for his loved ones and his city.

Methodical is a comprehensive description for many of the tracks on the album. Astroknot is exceptionally surgical with his lyrical cadence. It produces a sound that is full and large enough to suitably convey that his creative potential is too massive for any earthling to perceive. The blend of production and lyrical bounce is sharp and impactful. The sonics of the production sound cold, but the combination of the heavy drums with musical swing add a humanistic component to the composition.

Overall the sound of the project is very much Atlanta. Southern accentuations and linguistic signifiers that originate from the south saturate the content. Atlanta is a recurring theme throughout the project and seems to be associated with considerable amounts of pride. The entire project is consistent and very focused. Astroknot shows that consistency is the key to success for many of life's pursuits. Recurring references and tonal qualities make the project cohesive.

Songs like "Can't Say No," stray from the formula to show a healthy bit of creative diversity but lyrical content and cadence return listeners back to the core concept of the album. The bell synths and low 808s work together to create a spacey vibe. In terms of content, themes of sexuality run rampant on this track. The implication of fun from the production lightens the mood and eases listeners into the song without any awkwardness.

Even though Astroknot's talent is out of this world, it's the concepts and the references that form the metaphorical ground control. Ideas of misfortune, financial strife, and substance abuse call out to Astroknot mid-orbit and remind us, the listeners, that just because this is sonically impressive doesn't mean any of it is out of touch.

Astroknot's surgical approach to delivery is reminiscent of artists in the vein of Big K.R.I.T. or Yela Wolf, explicitly referring to his bouncy cadence and articulate lyrics. Initially, Atroknot starts off with a very harsh delivery style similar to the likes of Meechy of the Flatbush Zombies. He progressively gets more melodic towards the end of the project ending it all on a good note. Astroknot leaves the listener with a good taste in their mouths subsequently appetizing the musical palettes for future releases.

You can check out Astroknot's album Ground Control to Astroknot on all major streaming services. Be sure to follow him on social media for updates and upcoming releases.