TERRA INCOGNITA: Book One is a fusion of talent between Bristolian producer Nicky Soft Touch and London rapper ELDON, in what seems to be a long-awaited collaboration. The album narrates the adventure of two creative minds, an eloquent poet (ELDON) and an enigmatic recluse (Soft Touch) traversing unknown territories. Through 13 immersive tracks, their musical odyssey unfolds storytelling and introspection while benefiting from exceptional guest appearances, including AJ Suede, Asmaa Jama, akeko, and GRAND SIRE BOMBING ENDLESSLY, who contribute their distinctive styles to this eclectic mix of tracks.
Hypnotic beats, crafted meticulously by Nicky Soft Touch, blend effortlessly with ELDON’s sometimes rhythmic, sometime off-kilter flow and set the stage for the duo’s pursuit of the unknown. ELDON’s abstract lyrical prowess is showcased throughout, as he weaves intricate stories and myths with finesse. Tracks like “golden parachute” and “true horizons” offer glimpses into the minds of the artist-duo, as they meander through creative soundscapes and challenge conventional art boundaries.
From one track to another, listeners will notice how Nicky Soft Touch’s diverse and resonant production complements ELDON’s articulate storytelling, creating an intimate bond between words and sounds. The producer’s touch ranges from the ethereal and atmospheric in “first intention” to driving, boom-bap-adjacent sounds in “sometimes the picture doesn’t last longer.”
When it comes to the featured guests, each has a moment to shine, adding depth and variation to the project. AJ Suede’s verse in “good ‘kin” showcases his effortless wordplay, while Asmaa Jama’s haunting vocals on album opener “beaucoup hoodoo” leave an indelible mark. Akeko’s skillful contribution in “kalari swordplay” and GRAND SIRE BOMBING ENDLESSLY’s magnetic performance in “first intention” round out the collective strength of this album.
The album closes with the enigmatically-titled “in our dreams we fly like gods and why is that huh? because humans used to fly not too long ago,” a poignant and introspective conclusion that leaves a lasting impression. The build-up from the first twelve tracks culminates in an emotional finale, cementing this work as a testament to the power of collaboration.
In essence, TERRA INCOGNITA: Book One stands as a mesmerizing and immersive listening experience, blending the exploratory prowess of both a poet and a producer. Nicky Soft Touch and ELDON have crafted a journey that traverses musical and mythical worlds, ultimately delivering an unforgettable listen.