Review: With V!bez, Vol. 4, TroyBoi Crafts a Confident, Worldly Array of Sounds

The 21-minute set of songs is both fleet in its dynamics and booming in its impact.

TroyBoi, Vibez, Vol. 4

London-based DJ TroyBoi, a.k.a. Troy Henry, manages to offer up a little bit of everything that he does well on the 21-minute V!bez, Vol. 4. The producer’s main forte is trap, pairing hip-hop rhythms with samples from a wide variety of sources to craft a confident, worldly array of sounds. A collaboration with Brazilian duo Tropkillaz, the standout “Corneta” centers around a mariachi-like cornet riff that builds toward a frenzied, heavily percussive breakdown, while “Unstoppable” reprises TroyBoi’s fondness for Eastern-influenced strings, marrying them to his signature drum-machine pyrotechnics.

The latter song showcases TroyBoi’s unique approach to tempo—moving at a leisurely but swaggering clip, boosted by sashaying basslines on tracks like “Bellz.” He peppers in sonic odds and ends but with surprising restraint. He strikes a balance between low and high-end registers on both “Corneta” and “Baby,” leavening his intense, squiggly bass and percussion with flighty keys and strings.

But while TroyBoi is usually a wiz with playful vocal samples, folding in exclamations like “ugh!” or “bounce!” as built-in commentary to the music, the shrill, uncredited sample with which he inundates us throughout “Baby”—it’s mostly just the title repeated ad nauseam—begins to grate. Another instance of heavy-handedness rears its head on the final track, “Clear Waters,” which, with its sloshing water noises and chirping birds, lays on the tropical affectations a bit too thick.

Even in these occasionally overworked moments, though, V!bez, Vol. 4 never feels one-note, seguing from one flavor or groove to the next with elegance and aplomb. It bears the trademark TroyBoi effect: coming off both fleet in its dynamics and booming in its impact.

 Label: T Dot Music  Release Date: January 29, 2021  Buy: Amazon

Charles Lyons-Burt

Charles Lyons-Burt covers the government contracting industry by day and culture by night. His writing has also appeared in Spectrum Culture, In Review Online, and Battleship Pretension. He holds a B.A. in Film Studies and English from Vassar College.

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