Mikal Jones - "23" Review

In this exclusive Music Mondays article we dive into the latest full album release from Texas based Producer and DJ Mikal Jones titled "23". Combining vocal tracks along with instrumentals this is a project that should be on everyone's radar if you know what's good for you.


Hello once again everyone, it’s LORDHERETIC here with another music review by way of Houston producer and DJ Mikal Jones. Mikal has a long history in the underground creating beats for the likes of 777fury, oknice, dedd and myself! Today we dive into his solo offering titled “23”. 

The title track “23” featuring 777fury starts us off. A smooth snare with a tilting melody following the every infamous “it’s fury baby, she loves cuz I’m known to keep it real”. fury brings his signature sound to the track, giving us another chapter to help look into a life he came from. Nothing less than perfection from one of the underground’s best duos.

“LOVE2HATE - instrumental remix” follows. A synth laden sample peeks thru a radio filter straight into a hip hop beat with a snappy aggressive snare. This beat gives me the feeling of driving around a big city in the middle of a summer night. Cigarette lit, I find myself humming along to the melody and bouncing to the hi hat, day dreaming of a time that once was.

The third track titled “Trip” starts with an eerie synth accompanied by muffled drums, slowly the introduction of more and more instruments show. After a break drum break, we are welcomed back into the psychedelic soundscape we have found ourselves in. To be so honest, this type of trippy boom bap instrumental is some of my personal favorite from Mikal.

“Guemes” is the 4th Track from this project and what a pleasant treat. A soft melody into a fast paced hi had and a pleasant baseline, this one gave me intense PS2 era, ssx tricky vibes. Just something to plug in, play and lose yourself in. 

“Untitled 2 3 23 - interlude” brings us to the halfway point of this project. A drawn out intro bring us into a big drum stampede, a tempo reminiscent of marching music. But rather than a war march, maybe something to give us the sense that we need to march on. Against all odds, against ourselves at times. 

Next up, “Corner Store” gives us a slow piano into a fast hi hat and not quite a snare, not quite a snap but something entirely delicious to the ear. This reminds me of early 2000s southern/Florida club music. Something to forsure shake that ass to.

Next up us “Section” featuring Rellim. A squeaky piano leads into a nice aggressive snare and bass complete with a good steady hi hat. I had to stop myself from typing lyrics on this, for any artist that tunes in, it will be very very hard not to try and spit something over this. Infectious and sure to make you bob your head along.

Starting with an angelic and ethereal melody, “N.S.D.” Brings us about 3/4 way on our journey. This goes into a deep rumbling 808 that rattles the insides of your head. Snares snap beautifully and the full vision for this track is seen, a theme is coming to fruition. More traditional hi hats hiss to a complete soundscape mikal is crafting throughout “23”. 

Second to last we have “Cities” and immediate dive into rush hour traffic and you’re 30 minutes late for your day job. A frantic sound a feel, a menacing piano rings out over a secondary lower tone accompanied by a barrage of drums from every end of the spectrum. It all rolls together for a very enthusiastic and sinister ride.

To end our journey the instrumental for the title track “23” gives a full circle back to what started it all. It’s the same tilting melody, maybe more sinister now that I’m familiar with the vocal presentation. As I’m left to really digest the instrumental, the bass packs a punch underneath the drums. An excellent way to show us Mikal’s range.

All in all, a very consumable offering from legendary and my personal friend. Mikal has come a very long way over the years and never fails to disappoint with a rap friendly signature sound that never fails to let you know that he has roots in electronic music and the DJ culture. In my personal opinion, I give this project a solid 8.6-8.9. Nothing keeping this from perfection, just my personal taste in beats. As always thanks for tuning in and be sure to follow Mikal and Music Mondays!

Stream 23: distrokid.com/hyperfollow/mikaljones/23 

Follow Mikal Jones: linktr.ee/mikaljonesmusic 

Written By LORDHERETIC: linktr.ee/lordheretic