Drones is LA multi-hyphenate Terrace Martin’s first album-in-name since 2016’s Velvet Portraits and it feels like a natural progression. On this record, he pulls in the kind of guests that would be attracted to his production and songwriting regardless of genre, resulting in a project that is a well-blended fusion of jazz, R&B, hip hop and funk.
The album’s opening track “Turning Poison Into Medicine” features distorted vocals, gorgeous guitar and beautiful saxophone that create a perfect intro and sets the tone for what to expect on the album. The sonic landscape of the project is full of soulful melodies that are carried by the rapping and singing talents of artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Ty Dolla $ign, James Fauntleroy and Leon Bridges. Other guests like Cordae, Channel Tres and YG are also present throughout the course of the record.
Musically, the project is a true joy to listen to. It’s a smooth affair reminiscent of old school hip hop where jazz and rap went hand in hand, with the kind of vibe you could hear coming from a group like A Tribe Called Quest. The beats are intricate, but never overpowering and the saxophone in particular adds a lot to each song.
It’s clear that Martin is a mastermind of his craft. The way he seamlessly blends different influences into an overall sound that is unique to him as a producer, while allowing rappers and singers to shine, makes this a project that should be in everyone’s rotation.