A K Paul
Limited 7". The proper debut solo single from A.K. Paul has been a long time coming. The brother of the similarly elusive Jai Paul - songwriter / producer behind two stunning singles, 2011's 'BTSTU' and 2012's 'Jasmine' - first rose to prominence in his own right with 2014's 'So Good,' a co-credit with London singer Nao. By then, A.K. Paul (who also records as Anup Paul) had already contributed to tracks by Big Boi, Jessie Ware, Emeli Sandé, and Sam Smith. Since then, this Paul sibling's work has also appeared on tracks by Miguel and electro-R&B singer Jones, while Nao has hinted the two are joining forces again for her upcoming debut album. 'Landcruisin', which is also the first release from the Paul brothers' new Paul Institute project, both lives up to the expectations and sidesteps them. A model for this approach might be D'Angelo's first album in nearly 15 years, 2014's Black Messiah, which shouldered the weight of delay with mutant takes on soul, jazz, funk, and rock that sound more like off-the-cuff jams than extended labors. A kindred spirit of orderly disorder permeates 'Landcruisin', which Paul wrote, produced, mixed, and mastered. When Beats 1's Zane Lowe used the phrase "Blade Runner pop" on air to describe the track's fractured update of Prince-ly R&B with sci-fi synths, he was being characteristically excitable, but he was also onto something: With a sound like this, why stay on land?