Spotted in bars around the Northern Quarter in Manchester, often seen either working or of course, drinking – comes a fresh face to recorded music, RetsuDaGodKing.
Or as I know him, Peter Retsu Godwin – a friend of mine released his first of hopefully many album releases in February. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, ‘I Don’t Know Yet’.
This album explores a colourful spectrum of sounds, incorporating elements of soul, RnB, hip-hop, trap, reggae, club and and tones of indie rock.
For me, ‘I Don’t Know Yet’ takes a step up when the album takes a step down from up-beat. I consider this to be from the fourth track, ‘Me No Care’ and onwards.
‘Alien Shit’ takes no shit and gets straight into it. It goes for catchy and achieves this through repetition and the pair, Retsu and featured artist, Red Letter saying “Alien Shit” an awful lot.
The song has the additional purpose of illustrating the artist’s personality to the listener. Retsu doesn’t filter or mix his words.
He has a taste for the extra-ordinary and this song utilises the metaphor of extra-terrestrial to convey those tastes.
‘Africa Bébè’ moves the sound in a more positively infectious direction, featuring electronic bass drum and floor toms for a simplistic but decisively African beat.
The lyricism and performance of is motivated and gives the listener another window into Retsu’s aspirations.
If You Love Me In The Morning (Read In-Between The Lines), featuring Brittany Høie and Maelstrom Jetson is a song I find jarring.
The vocal takes, mix and double tracking are the track’s downfall. it does, however shift the album towards a more creative direction, instrumentally – incorporating transitions from sombre tones to those of trance music.
Me No Care’ acts as Red Letter’s redemption and the start line for my whole-hearted enjoyment of the music – a wacky and wonderful reggae inflection on the album.
Takes negative space into consideration and doesn’t attempt to insist that you move to the music, it would rather you sway.
Shy is a favourite of mine, featuring none but Retsu himself. This track has a wonderful flow to it and doesn’t try so hard.
Very natural soothing. “Don’t do drugs”, is the take home message at the end of a song that promotes use of cannabis.
This is a phrase Peter uses with a shade of irony. It suggests his stance on marijuana, that it shouldn’t be compared to substances that cause more immediate and severe harm that he would more comfortably label as ‘drugs’.
Having met Peter Retsu Godwin, his passion for music was witnessed first-hand.
He encourages and enjoys vibrations of all kinds. When he enjoys something, he REALLY enjoys it.
Music excites him and finding a new song or artist for him is celebrated as if he struck gold, he gives testament to this in the next track, “Hit me with your music, Bourbon Smiles I wanna feel.”
Godwin has an appreciation for traditional and modern styles of music from various cultures.
One song I’ll always remember him dancing so carelessly and passionately to was ‘Utrus Horas’ by Orchestra Baobab.
Influences like this can be found in ‘Sleeping Beauty’s story’ – breathy, layered, harmonic, melodious and sets a very precise balance between subtle and up-beat by placing salsa rhythms aside relaxed, acoustic arpeggios with the occasional addition of heavy sub tones.
‘No Sound’ implores peace from the other half in a relationship who comes in “AM and the PM” to give the protagonist space, peace and space – not to make a sound.
Retsu sings of wanting to “fuck around” as opposed to “playing around”. In comes an impactful verse performance from Mayzøn that tightens the gaps in this track as his verse builds and strengthens against the powerful subs.
Much like the lyrical intention, there’s a lot of space in the track that’s also made effective with the shoe-gaze guitar licks behind the track, gently rocking the explorative album, ‘I Don’t Know Yet’ to sleep.
RetsuDaGodKing is in music for all the right reasons.
Setting aside vanity, money and even living conditions – Retsu spent a lot of time sleeping in the same studio he produced this album months upcoming to the release when he was struggling finding proper accommodation.
In a dedicated effort that took over one year – that same passion found its way to RetsuDaGodKing’s debut release.
Out on all music streaming platforms, ’I Don’t Know Yet’ is a very impressive start to what is lining up to be a prosperous career as a versatile and developing artist and producer.
Words Simon Harwood