Album Review: ‘The Art of Culture’ – D-Mo


D-Mo is the moniker of Atlanta based producer and multi-instrumentalist Dralon Moreland. He’s been making name for himself locally as one of the most unique producers of hip-hop and jazz on the come up. And his latest album ‘The Art Of Culture‘ could be the project that propels this local hero to international acclaim.

Rather than finding his influence directly from already established musical conventions, D-Mo prefers to turn his attention to the world around him for inspiration from the everyday. A quick walk down the street or around his hometown is sometimes all D-Mo needs to find that spark for his next piece. It’s this approach to making music that makes D-Mo’s sound so hard to pin point, so off the wall. The 15 tracks laid out in ‘The Art Of Culture’ range from downtrodden lo-fi affairs like “Working For What” – a cut that inspires images of walking home from your 9-5 in the rain – to up-beat inspirational vibes like “Shackles”.

Of course, D-Mo does still have a wide variety of influences from artists he looks up to. He cites legends like Nina Simone, Miles Davis, J Dilla and Kanye West as having a big influence on his work. And you can definitely feel those inspirations throughout this project. “The Art Of Evolution” is one of our favourite cuts from the album, as it seems to encapsulate virtually all of D-Mo’s influences in one beautiful painted sonic picture. Poignant vocal samples from interviews are interlaced with this dreamy soundscape that almost feels like you’re floating on a cloud from interview to interview. Like D-Mo wants to show you these poignant quotes in one big hip-hop daydream.

From start to finish you’re put into a sort of sonic dream state with ‘The Art of Culture’. Sometimes it feels like you’ve been dragged into a dreary nightmare, then next minute you’re feeling yourself again. You’re swaggering down the sidewalk with a skip in your step and the sun at your back.

If you want to get low-key emotional, throw ‘The Art Of Culture’ on and see where the vibe takes you. Because high-key, it’s a great album.