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  • Writer's pictureJamie Varley

Catching Heat

Updated: Feb 2, 2020

The Album


Kaytranada’s 99.9% is a colourful mixture of organic and unexpected flavours into an experience that lets each sound shine.

Kaytranada will not be confined to a single genre or style. That doesn’t mean he smoothly transitions between them – but it is the friction between elements that inspire Kaytra are what make his music so interesting. The Haiti-born, Montreal-raised artists pays homage to the complex upbringing and musical influences. The contrast between the sped up Brazilian vocals and rhythmic African snaps on "Lite Spots" is a sample of what make this album so noticeably unique and fresh. Because at the end of all his mashing and splicing, the results sound unexpectedly warm and purposeful.

It isn’t even the genius collection of musical influences that make 99.9% beautiful – it’s the selection of features as well. Jazz musician Karriem Riggins lays the backdrop for “Bus Ride” two songs before Goldlink’s versatile flow bounces over “Together”, BadBadNotGood’s avant garde jazz-funk is sandwiched between rising rapper Vic Mensa and multi-talented legend Phonte. It all goes to show how inspired this album is at taking elements that should not make sense and making them… make sense.

Very few albums have the ambition to experiment like this, and even fewer make such a refreshing final product.


The Food

Shrimp Tacos with Mango Pico de Gallo (and friends)

When I cooked for this album I could not stop adding and adding to the meal. What started out as tacos ended as a four-dish meal, as it was hard to stop incorporating flavours and tastes with little relation to each other besides their immense flavour. Whether they work together or not does not matter, as long as they provided their own unique flavour without taking away from others.

That is why I settled upon Mexican food, which has few rules. The two constants in Mexican food are corn and hot peppers. These have been a part of the history for years, and the expansive repertoire of Mexican chefs cannot ever exclude them from their dishes.

In the end, I settled on this: beans and vegetables, mango pico de gallo, purple corn tortilla chips with a smooth guacamole dip, and the piece de resistance… shrimp tacos surrounded by homemade corn tortillas. Oh, and did we mention the tequila?

Make one, make them all. The complexity of each dish doesn’t allow the flavours get lost in the mix, but to proudly make their statement and remain memorable amongst a host of strong-willed tastes. The spice and flavour of each, with the warmth of tequila, will keep you awake, alive, and energized to the core.


The Experience

This dance record slash b-boy tape is bright but in no way is dainty. It is an urban summer over wax, with heat and movement and activity and business blending together into 15 tracks. It is a smoothie where the blender stopped a few rotations away from a puree, where each sip allows you to taste the tastes and the textures of each ingredient.

It pairs with something that packs heat. Something that makes you sweat but never makes you uncomfortable… allowing you to thrive and enjoy the fire in you.

Each time you pick up on something unexpected in your bite, listen to the song that’s spinning in the background and see if there is an instrument or a tone you didn’t notice before. There is so much to unpack in the meal and the album.

The energy in the friction between the flavours and the sounds make a beautifully unexpected combination that leaves an aura lasting longer than the spice on your tongue.



For the pico, you can't go wrong with any recipe you find online. However, the pivotal flavour is the mango. Ensure you cut up some refreshing, juicy mango to add some sweetness to balance out the heat.

The guac was simply an avocado mashed with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder and lime juice. How much you want to add of the spices is completely up to you.

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