Young Montana? – Limerence
Long is the laundry list of beat makers via the UK, but one of the rising stars of the scene, Jon Pritchard aka Young Montana, is a ripe 20 years old. Following in the footsteps of renowned veterans such as Prefuse 73, FlyLo, and Madlib, Young Montana? has just released his debut album, Limerence on Alpha Pup, with some fantastic artwork to boot. Emerging from relative obscurity in Coventry, a smallish town in the UK, Pritchard has managed to bottle up some of the most fluid beats of the year with a strong down-tempo style perfected in his own backyard.
While the flow is intermittent at best, the release works as a host of independent sketches comprised of a multitude of ideas, much like Prefuse’s Apexian. The overall theme varies widely from the soulful to the askew to the more gathered bass-driven tracks, but when Pritchard hits the right chord, the sound is rich, interesting, and energetic. In many ways, Pritchard is on the forefront of the next wave of beat makers trying their hands at the game after years of study dominated by the masters. While Limerence is not entirely ground-breaking, the release more than makes up for it in sheer jam-ability, on tracks ‘Sacré Cool’, ‘Suchbeats’, and ‘Repetition’. While most vocals are reserved in snippets thrown in for an added texture, the release is more or less instrumental. Utilizing his full arsenal of techniques and tricks, nearly every track holds a recognizable pattern worthy of a head bob. ‘Legwrap’ however, is where Pritchard is certainly pushing the boundaries, incorporating the pinnacle of his off-kilter, wonky, and plain off the wall trips and ticks before emerging as one of the more killer beat structures found on the album. Such is the way Pritchard directs his listener, always keeping us wondering what may come next.
The final track ‘Connct’ once again thrives on the bass heavy, but throws in a music box to keep the listener always guessing. While it makes what begins as one of the most enjoyable tracks less so, it’s still interesting enough in its own right to justify a listen. For such a young mind at an essentially old man’s game at this point, I predict good things from Coventry and a multitude of small towns throughout the world in the years to come in the wide open world of beat-making.