1988

by Knxwledge


Released March 27, 2020 via Stones Throw

Originally reviewed April 7, 2020

Top tracks (based on community voting)

Itkanbe [sonice] (33%), watchwhoukallyourhomie (17%), minding_my business (17%)


With his first solo studio album since 2015's Hud Dreams, Los Angeles-based producer Knxwledge once again adeptly chops and layers bright, unique samples to create a vibrant yet modest soundscape on 1988. Whether it be deep soul flips from The Edwards Generation, or that of a Resident Evil soundtrack, Knx utilizes his swinging drum patterns and off kilter cuts in the way only a seasoned veteran with the deepest musical shrewdness could. This is the kind of record to both dissect to the fullest extent and just let spin without the intent to deeply analyze. – Pax (9/10)

A producer is often judged more by the feelings and emotions they communicate through their music than the intricacies of the notes and samples they construct to build such productions. 1988 is a balancing act of dynamics, both complex and uncomplicated, that potentially make an album exceptional. Knxwledge is a unique force in underground hip-hop beatmaking: one that excels in the sourcing of samples, curation of atmosphere, and pursuit of lucidity through sound. Knx has exercised these strengths at an unprecedented rate, dropping more than a hundred projects in the last ten years. Knx’s latest studio album takes all the previously established aspects of his greatness and repackages them into a flagship product that represents him at full strength. Songs are immediate, routinely landing under the two-minute mark, yet making great impact individually as well as a part of a greater experience. A greater experience that is incentivized to be heard entirely, the way each song seamlessly transitions to another and compounds the soulful and easy-going effect that drives the ethos of the record. Whether one chooses to judge Knxwledge on technique, execution of concept or general replayability, 1988 is viably exceptional from all angles. – DeVán (8/10)


Pax: 9/10 | Cam: 8/10 | DeVán: 8/10 | Enth: 8/10

Hadley: 8/10 | Dominick: 7.6/10 | Daniel: 7.2/10