While Kadaj Da Kid primarily describes himself as an instrumental hip-hop artist hoping to pass on beats, his tracks on his latest album "Portrait" are strong enough to stand on their own.
The first track "Violet Eye" opens with a rolling, soft electric guitar-like synth, augmented by a quiet bass; these sounds provide a frame for the laid back yet soft beat.
Deeper and more brooding than the first track, "Eternal" has a sense of quickening in its midlevels by using a looping synth that spirals around the central beat. The track manages to sound minimalist yet rich, allowing listeners to focus on the patterns that emerge.
Third track "Frozen" is almost orchestral, with a lilting guitar, light piano chords, and a light piccolo sound, punctured by an occasional electric guitar. The beat is deep and laid back, and is well complemented by the bright tones. Kadaj Da Kid holds onto the mood with the next track: marked by a handdrum-like beat, "Pearl Swan" is a mysterious, well syncopated track that incorporates the sounds of light, floating synths, keys, and a rolling percussion.
Moving from cooler tones, fifth track "Postscript" features a bass vocal sample elevated by warm, appealing keys that is underscored by handclaps and a bass drum to round out the tone. "Dusk" has a similarly calmative resonance, featuring another bass vocal sample and a sturdy beat that pulses without disturbing the smoothness of the sounds. Nicely syncopated glitchy noises flutter around softly, infusing the track with a twinkling essence.
Track seven "Dawn" is fittingly energetic after the calm of "Dusk", with a sharply assertive electronic synth synching up with a strong, dominant beat, and "Believe" returns to smoother grounds, but maintains a lively quality, melting beat with synth-trumpet-like staccatos and a humming loop.
The deep, bouncy bass of ninth track "Deja Vu" nicely mirrors the percussion, and the track cleverly creeps through its tones, showcasing organs, keys, and a hint of electric guitar.
Tenth track "Cosmos" is a marked departure from the rest of the album, relying on ethereal electronic tones underwritten by a shuffling beat.
Final track "The Dark Arts" features a vocal sample and a driving beat, making it the most aggressive and emotional piece on the album.
All in all: Kadaj Da Kid has made an offering of engaging, catchy beats and instrumentals. Even independent of vocals, Kadaj Da Kid's sounds showcase a talent for both variety and steadfastness, and the ability to create thoughtful, crafted foundations for hip hop instrumentals.
Available on Kadaj Da Kid's site, name your own price.