Adam Wray is recruiting Andrew Wiggins for Team OVO

PARTYNEXTDOOR don’t get no respect. His self-titled debut was as promising as anything released last year but got relatively little love. His production is bold and adventurous, but critics focus on his conventional vocals. It may be tough to keep napping on him, though – he’s put out three top-flight joints in the past three months, all suggesting a big step forward on his second full-length, dropping July 27. He’s exploring the darker, weightier side of his sound on these tunes, and “Recognize” continues the trend.

“Recognize” opens with bleating, corroded synths that recall Vangelis. This track could score a Blade Runner remake. His drums are harsh and mechanical, and the whole track’s girded by a rumbling bass synth. His production is weirder than it gets credit for – Hyperdub could’ve put this instrumental out as a white label and no one would’ve batted an eye.

Party’s experimenting vocally, too, testing out his Thugger yawp around the 2:50 mark. Drake checks in for a quick verse on his patented rambling voicemail flow. It feels like a bit of an afterthought, more of a marketing tactic than an honest collaboration. Drake’s too much of a professional to put junk to tape, though, so while it doesn’t add much to the song, it doesn’t detract from it, either.

Our own Jeff Weiss refers to the baleful, Autotuned crooning Party deals in as “the sad robot” – again, I’m reminded of Blade Runner. Party’s on his Replicant flow, and I’m here for it. Right now, he’s is OVO/Tyrell Corp.’s secret weapon.

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