Above all else, Mura Masa’s latest album demon time demonstrates a mastery of groove. The album is short and sweet and every track is a treat for the ears. This is what I think about the album after one listen.

The album is inspiring in terms of its production and flow. Mura Masa is sparse when appropriate, and dense, layered, and loud when called for. His collaborators and features are terrific (especially Shygirl). Each track has a different energy than the last, but they’re all tight and punchy.

The ultimate reason why I listened to this album is because I’m a huge fan of the track “2gether,” which I originally came across thanks to a Twitter recommendation from Alice Longyu Gao. This song has been in heavy rotation for me ever since it came out, to the point where Apple Music reports it as my most-played song this calendar year (115 plays, with the next most-played at 991). I can rave about this song at length. I love the buildup. I love the songwriting. The chorus goes so hard. I love the way the snare hits alternate between short and long. The production is spectacular, and I love the “Jesus Christ” Mura Masa producer tag (which appears all over this album).

The other tracks are quite good as well. I was decently familiar with the singles already, but they hold up. My favorite single besides “2gether” is probably “hollaback bitch” thanks to its groove and the vocal performances.

Several of the tracks on demon time felt reminiscent of work by other artists in a way that I quite liked. “slomo” has vocal performance and production that somewhat reminds me of 100 gecs, but the song is very much Mura Masa’s. The bass on “up all week” hits hard just like the bass from “Satisfaction” by Benny Benassi. “prada (i like it)” feels like what we’d get if Mura Masa produced for Dua Lipa — both the production and the songwriting feel like a cross of the two. And closer “blush” kinda feels like Zedd ft. Selena Gomez2.

I appreciate that on demon time, two tracks can go just as hard as one another but for entirely different reasons. And although each song is distinct from the others, they all have excellent production. I wish I had a good speaker system to listen to this album, because although it sounds terrific in my headphones, I know there’s a lot more there that I’d hear in the right conditions.

“e-motions” is such a warm track. “tonto”3 has very catchy vocal manipulation. “blessing me” uses space expertly in the drum groove, and has a wonderful build and release of tension. “hollaback bitch” introduces and layers new elements one by one in a catchy way.

There’s only one “2gether” on this album, and although I wish there were more, maybe that’s for the best.

  1. And currently in fourth place with 66 plays is the Mura Masa remix of “You Make It Look so Easy” by Himera. ↩︎

  2. (though admittedly I don’t really listen to either Zedd or Selena Gomez, lol) ↩︎

  3. from the lyrics, shouldn’t this be called “tanto”? ↩︎