Reece West showcases a refined, subdued sound on 'Departure Lounge'

Taking in his new eight-track EP Departure Lounge, released Friday via tenwest, it's immediately apparent that Reece West has mastered a refined sound. The Haringey-based MC often dabbles in rap and trap, and seems to have a knack for slotting such experimentations into his grime-heavy projects without the different styles sounding incongruous alongside one another. The EP was preceded by music videos for "Walk on Water" (prod. Energy Man & Manul) and "Flavours" (prod. Lubu); visuals for "The One" (prod. Danny D) are due to drop on Link Up TV this Thursday.

"Rachel Riley handling words / E&J stay handling nerves" ("When Will I Learn 2")

Mellow, carefully-selected grime instrumentals including the minimal "The One" and the Bolus-assisted "When Will I Learn 2" gel seamlessly into trap song "Flavours"—which sounds as though Travi$ Scott could hop onto the track at any moment—and the slow-mo closer "Insta Captions", a collaboration with Manchester beat-maker Kill Miami. Only two songs on the EP stray from this subdued sound: the island vibes of "Future Wife", crafted by Wolverhampton's Detonator, and the star-studded Teddy Music and G.Tank the HeavyTracker co-production "Griezmann", which sees the EP take an unexpected change of pace.

Lyrically, West speaks on a wide variety of subjects, showcasing the tensions of the grime scene ("Scheming on my enemies even though the threat's old"), his wit ("Lick shots, they dance like Fortnite / Dem man weak like fortnight"), and his sharp tongue ("If it ain't Big John, Ten or Melvillous / West don't wanna hear dem man's new ish"). Altogether, it makes for one of the most thoughtfully curated projects of the year.

Stream Departure Lounge in full below, and find Reece West on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for more updates.