In recent years, there’s been a shift in the R&B and soul world. It has diversified completely. The “ooh baby”s of Ashanti have been swapped out for the smooth low-key sounds of Jhené Aiko and the sultry upbeat tunes of Tinashe. Popular slow jams by Usher have turned into the hypnotizing sounds of The Weeknd. This doesn’t necessarily mean the greats of the past have been forgotten, just that the door has been opened for a new wave of heartbreaking and baby making music.
The Code, identified by Pigeons and Planes as a UK-based producer/vocalist duo, don’t identify as belonging to or creating music within one specific genre. The group’s sound encompasses R&B, soul, electronic and trap — sometimes all at the same time.
“Every day we are growing, trying new things, developing ideas. Progress, not perfection,” wrote The Code via Facebook.
If you’re into the mysterious, heady vibes of Canadian acts like The Weeknd, or Majid Jordan, and appreciate the new age sounds that have been introduced by artists like Bryson Tiller or Tory Lanez, it’d be wise to add The Code to your playlist.
The duo’s sound however, isn’t a complete replica of the talented artists listed above. The Code gives listeners something different, and that is what any genre needs to keep it alive and relevant. Where Tiller and Lanez mix trap and R&B to create that sound we love to drive to late at night or sway to at that dark familiar chill spot in the late evening, The Code offers something reminiscent of a brighter, trance-like version of The Weeknd’s House of Balloons on its most recent EP, Blue Electronica.
The Code’s social media accounts have little-to-no information, or photos. The footage from the group’s few shows are of silhouettes of the duo behind a screen. We don’t know who they are, and that doesn’t matter.
Artists like Australian singer/songwriter Sia, who have chosen to remain ‘faceless’ to the public, have highlighted the very important fact that we as music listeners have become too involved with the non-music aspect of popular artists’ affairs. Remaining anonymous allows us to get back to focusing on the music. And fortunately for The Code (and listeners), the music is incredible.
Take “F**k” for example. Released a few months prior to Blue Electronica, the track is one of the project’s most upbeat songs. Think a more buoyant version of Miguel’s “Coffee” or Janet Jackson’s “Son of a Gun”, with a more modern electronic element. “F**k” became one of the most popular songs on The Code’s SoundCloud account, as well as various YouTube accounts similar to Majestic Casual, an audiovisual blog that “represents the best of electronic music, deep house, experimental, hip-hop, indie, pop and many more,” according to its profile.
Blue Electronica features a brilliant collab with Canadian rapper P Reign on the song “Loving You” and another with KasFlow on “Wolf”. Sure, almost every album has ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ songs, but Blue Electronica offers a bunch of different vibes that blend together seamlessly. The transitions are great, no matter where you start.
Photo sourced from The Code’s Facebook page