When I was growing up in the Bay Area, KMEL and Wild 107.7 (at the time) used to play “real” hip hop and R&B. If you’re like me, reading “real” is either puzzling or imbues a guttural reaction of “oh please, spare me the comparison of what hip hop is now.” Don’t worry–I’ll spare you the extended analysis, but I will say this: in the early 90s (my youth) mainstream hip hop and R&B were only starting to be commercialized, so the packaging of dance hip hop like Flo-Rida, T Payne, etc. hadn’t consumed the market because it was just a facet–not a genre. It wasn’t until 1996 that the Grammy even had an award for hip hop.
This is all an exasperated way of evoking the feelings that arise from me as I listen to Quadron. Lead by Danish singer, Coco O, who’s sultry, cool tone can easily shift from aching heartbreak to sullied “you did me wrong” tracks reminds me of the 90s R&B of a young Brandy, Monica and Carl Thomas. Tracks like “Sea Salt” and “Neverland” are minimalist in nature, letting Coco O’s voice shine, drawing comparisons to the formerly mentioned artists and showing its roots in the Quiet Storm that built the modern version.
Quadron will be playing at the Stern Grove festival 2013 on June 23rd, if I were you, I wouldn’t miss it.