AD Robinson is the R&B and New-age Hip-hop amalgamating artist who gathers from the cornerstones of his influencing genre's with a connoisseur's taste from his debut album, "Crowd Noise."
In this ambient venture where old sonic tricks meet new aesthetics, the Jersey-bred, Rhode Island-based artisan buzzes over his customarily melancholic and heart-broken anecdotes, which unironically come straight from the turbulent encounters of his past relationships.
That's not to say it sounds like a sappy, ballad-ridden mood bath; it's quite the opposite thanks to Producer's BDao and HeadTop honing focus over the beats. He's described his debut himself as an "album that brings a long-awaited sigh of relief to those looking for something new and different," and that's the exact liberation you feel after its dimension-traversing playback.
Opening up with the introductory cut, "No More,"—a single in its own right—about a once passionate relationship slowly crumbling to ashes until the terminal moments where love feels stagnant; and the 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality that festoons the aftermath of that narrative. Here amongst the love-sick rhetoric's, AD Robinson holds a tight handle over his topline. As Robinson resounds over the kaleidoscopic hook of this Contemporary R&B production, you can't help but think of the Space-race aesthetic dripping off this cut, mirroring someone like The Weekend.
He sounds like the audible projection of a clandestine spirit sent from dimensions away to festoon your mind with unspoiled and stimulating sonics from the intoxicating lines, "you don't hit my phone no more, I don't wanna you hear you on the line no more. insecurities don't get a hug no more." The production here features the often noticeable coruscating pads that garnish each hook with a distant muted oscillation, which seemingly evaporate between winking laser beam synths that fire across the air. B Dott Fresh comes in sounding like a cross between Kendrick Lamaar and Jaylen Santoy, with a stifling hit-blooded verse where he traverses between his own cadence and a distinguishing play off the hook, "I just gotta drink the make the days go by, thought you were the one you know that ain't no lie, I've been feeling low but the pain so high, you turned me to a person I hate, so bye."
B Dott Fresh comes in sounding like a cross between Kendrick Lamaar and Jaylen Santoy, with a stifling hit-blooded verse where he traverses between his own cadence and a distinguishing play off the hook, "I just gotta drink the make the days go by, thought you were the one you know that ain't no lie, I've been feeling low but the pain so high, you turned me to a person I hate, so bye."
We're still floating in the multi-verse that AD Robinson manufactured with the previous stratosphere vaulting R&B banger when we reach "Psychic." And much of the same lamenting about relationships and how earth-shattering they can feel is present here also, this time with more rhetorical sass. Robinson sings out of disappointment in the lack of direction he's experienced, and his hardiness shows in the chorus, "been so many times that I needed some advice, can I see how, what you like, I don't even know what's right, you a psychic, so I mean what's right?"
It's intoxicating when Robinson sings out over these upswells of synergizing vocal unisons. His tone diffuses over variations of his harmonics in a lower and higher singing register and begins to buzz as one. It's hard not to lose sight of where you are as you listen-in closely. At a minute and forty seconds in, AD Robinson dissolves back into the sonic voids of his panorama-like mix, decrying, "just let me drive!" Here, everything sinks like in those filmy moments of your favorite space-adventure sci-fi flicks, floating in the gravity-less buoyancy, as Robinson's final resounding's orbit over the chorus one last time.
Some songs stand out from the other's as you peek into the multi-verse of this Artist's ever-evolving musical manifestations. Between empyreal-like R & B inflections and Trap-house Rap spit-fires, with all the chirruping vocal dynamics and sass, AD Robinson equally owns each aesthetic.
Songs like "Caller ID" and "Keys" paint a picture more deductive of AD Robinson dripping in expensive jewels, tip-toeing over his syllables with a triplet cascading trap-hop-like cadence, as he dispenses threats over tantalizing reverberations between his hefty tone on "Keys," and a penetration croon over "Caller ID."
Contrastingly, the new-age sonic joyrides found within "Compatibility" render up like the futuristic melancholy festooned gospel mantras projecting into reality from a galaxy's distance away. "I've been to the sky, into the sky, into the sky," Robinson sings over the lofty spaces of this sonic experience. The track's atmosphere here really makes it feel like you're on a different planet, where the particles buoyant in the air around you are supercharged with R&B nostalgic-inducing energy.
As you get closet to the apex summits of the cosmos-reflecting renditions this Rhode Island house-hold name garnishes over his debut, tracks like "What's Up," stand out as a highlight. This is where the Jersey-bred Rapper sounds his best.
Surrounded by an atmosphere a more conforming of vintage-tape congested studios, Robinson's vocals resound with a saturated top-end that tails of the softly devastating inflections he diffuses from his lips with every infatuating, "can you tell what's up? can you tell what's up?" This track's production buzzes over bright percussive tinkerings that decorate the adjacent edges of its own atmosphere with an enamoring width, giving our Intoner enough room to croon and swagger over his serenading inquiries. When you look back at the futuristic journey, AD Robinson's "Crowd Noise" renders up like a space-ship that jumps back and forth in time, docking at and borrowing from the touchstones of classic R&B, Trap-house, and Hip-hop, for the purpose of amalgamating them together into a distinguishingly pure and brand-new Musical experience.
Can you run us through some of your most memorable experiences behind the writing, planning, and recording of "Crowd Noise?"
Most memorable experience: BDao and I would sit down and make tons of beats. We made hundreds of beat but I wrote about 150 songs to all these beats we made during this time and we ended up getting 9 for Crowd Noise. Our plan was to make a bunch of songs and pick the best. We ended up going to Cybersound in Boston, MA to record them all with Rob Whitaker. It was a pretty long process going in and recording them all because we had to come up with funds for studio time. But sure enough, with help from the team, we got it done. There is some history too for a couple of songs. The Gansett Music team was originally formed in 2017 when we used to release songs as a collaborative but since then we've expanded our circle to other artists and producers alike. Songs like Compatibility & Feelings (can be found on YouTube) were originally Gansett songs that we decided to bring to life for Crowd Noise.
What was it like working and co-producing alongside BDao and HeadTop for this record?
Working with BDao and HeadTop is always great. I've known both these guys for about 6 years now. We always used to get together and make beats and freestyle, but that was when we never put anything out. They both have very unique styles and it's always a pleasure to link up and make something. HeadTop made the beat for "Psychic". BDao made 5 of 9.
What were the two most powerful emotions you needed to conjure up for the performances you captured throughout "Crowd Noise"?
Most powerful emotions: I have heavy mood swings and I've been learning how to deal with it through meditation but Affection & Anxiety were the main emotions.
How did you go about curating the cohesion and flow of this record, especially when walking the line between genres from track to track?
We just felt the vibe...There were so many times when myself & CODE (other artists in Gansett Music) just would listen constantly to all the songs I made to make a cohesive project. We just ended up going with what we expected to hear next, what we thought other people would mess with, and our favorites.
If you could give your listeners a few words that would act as a Prologue to the experience they can come to expect from "Crowd Noise," what would you say, and why?
I would say, "My Life. My Choices. My Mistakes". Crowd Noise is about my relationships with the people I surround myself with. But the "Crowd" is the outside. The Crowd always wants to know your business & the Noise is that constant chatter of people talking about you 24/7, whether you are aware of it or not. So for me, Crowd Noise is an introduction into my mind, my relationships, and my life. Bad news travels faster than good news, but my debut project speaks on how to move through the Crowd Noise.