New Love is the debut of Minneapolis's Mike Swoop, but the album's smooth, funky instrumentals are in fact the work of an artist who has been producing in the area for the past eight years. Now setting out on his own terms, Swoop—who played Last of the Record Buyers at Fifth Element last month—explores a broad reach of influences beyond hip hop that includes jazz, Afrobeat, and traces of European house music. Trained as a drummer, he builds his grooves around samples with the aid of live instrumentation, creating rich textures with an emphasis on percussion. The album also features appearances from Rhymesayers MC Toki Wright, local duo Big Quarters, and Diametrix, the group with which Swoop got his start as a teenager. Tonight's release party, hosted by Franz Diego, will be a combination listening party and live show as Swoop explains the making of New Love while performing selected songs with guests Booka B and Espada.
Fri., Feb. 5, 9 p.m., 2010