Chicago rapper Judy infuses austere beats with bursts of color on Ard Bet | Music Review | Chicago Reader

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Chicago rapper Judy infuses austere beats with bursts of color on Ard Bet


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Wicker Park rapper Judy knows that with the right delivery, his subtle groans can be just as compelling as his lyrics. On “Inside Grey,” from his new Ard Bet (Wing Hoe), his words slide out of his mouth with the battered weariness of a twentysomething who’s lost count of the number of late nights he’s misspent on one bender or another, but he counterbalances the song’s dark themes with an intuitive grasp of melody. Judy’s austere soundscapes can be downright chilly, but the understated playfulness of his performances injects his sparsely arranged, nearly monochromatic songs with bursts of color. On “Don’t Worry,” he unloads a drizzle of brief, brittle bars atop a maudlin organ melody and a skipping, skeletal beat, but when he begins to sing, his full-throated AutoTune shout streaks through the song like a rainbow after a summer downpour.   v

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