Media company 88 Rising has effectively shone a spotlight on mainly Asian artists, allowing acts such as Higher Brothers to be heard around the world. Their most recent venture is Head In The Clouds, a compilation album made up of the groups’s current roster.
Opening tracks La Cienega, Red Rubies and Swimming Pool all follow a similar mood-based trap formula, but each contributor gives each song its own identity, moving from soulful grunge to echoed soft synths to freestyling rap, while maintaining a sense of cohesion.
Peach Jam, Midsummer Madness and Plans evolve into fun, laid-back chill-pop, with plenty of playful and catchy melodies.
Phum Viphurit (who recently made his Hong Kong debut) guests on Higher Brothers’ dreamy soul-funk banger Lover Boy 88, crooning, “Searching for the one to make me right.” But it’s Indonesian singer Niki who is the standout, working her beautiful vocals over any genre, from the grand EDM dreamscape of Warpaint to the tropical house bounce of I Want In.
Even if the metallic clanging of Let It Go or the jungle-trap Disrespectin’ feel a bit tame in comparison to many of the others, Head In The Clouds proves that this group of artists is on the rise.