Schwaza Culture (feat. Street Etiquette)
Label: Ninja Tune
Jesse Boykins III isn't exactly the ingénue he proclaims himself to be on "I'm New Here." He's been on the fringes of New York's indie-soul scene for years, but Zulu Guru is his first project with international distribution. Boykins' collaborator, Melo-X, is a negligible rapper, but he swathes Boykins' breathily light voice in deep, sensuous electronic grooves. "Outta My Mind" is just a drum machine and heavenly vocalese; "Searching Her Ways" dips into pulsing garage-house rhythms; and "The Perfect Blues" layers African-flavored percussion rhythms into a story of NYC heartbreak.