Recording artist, songwriter, performer, video producer, director and actor, Solomon Vaughn aka Boonie Mayfield, hails from Colorado, USA, is a serious student of his musical and cultural predecessors. He synthesizes a diverse range of genre sources to create something entirely distinctive. His balance of classic and adventurous is perfectly calibrated. Mayfield has long explored the friction between new wave vibes and old-school sounds, but its never felt so confident; both timeless and futuristic, familiar but not limited to any one genre. Boonie’s tendency towards concept albums, enigmatic personas, cultural, social and political thematics, have thus far been superbly eloquent and hard-hitting. However, his latest album “BLACK FLOYD”, is a divine musical and philosophical culmination of all those elements that steps beyond sheer artistic aptitude, and into something with a much deeper purpose.
In essence, “BLACK FLOYD” is an album sewn together from 3 volumes of stunning music – the first two volumes are made up of the EP’s “Black Floyd: The One Man Band” which dropped in 2020, and “Black Floyd Returns” which followed in 2021. The third volume is a previously unheard batch of five songs, which complete the entire album concept. The immersive narrative construction of “BLACK FLOYD” over 13 tracks is impressive enough; the fact that its matched by a similarly inspired musical progression is acutely prodigious.
Genre as a concept is arbitrary, allowing Boonie Mayfield to pull off inspired musical detours, while making it all sound like a stroke of innovative genius. Mayfield takes the kind of sonic risks mainstream musicians cannot execute. The payoff is mesmerizing. Complex melodies, meet lushly layered instrumental backdrops, which in turn support intricate storytelling and eclectic voicings that move from moments of intimacy to levels of grandeur.
With “BLACK FLOYD”, you get the sense that the album is strictly Boonie Mayfield’s vision from start to finish, the actualization of a sound he’s been hitting and improving on for years. The album is loaded with intense lyrical moments that move through Mayfield’s mindset, on subjects like social media, racism, mental health, spirituality, love and ambition, as he finds himself fighting both, the system and his inner demons, in world divided between fantasy and reality.
The songs here are full of dynamic life, drenched in shimmering keys, stabbing chords, rolling basslines and expansive, groove-inducing organic beats. Currently an outlier, there is no doubt that in the future, Boonie Mayfield will get proper consideration, when his body of work will be reconciled against the canon and his musical inventiveness, mixed with profound lyrical consciousness, places him in front of the crowd where he deserves to be.
A brief search through Boonie Mayfield’s catalog confirms that he has always had higher-brow and more unique sonic influences to his work than most critics give him credit for. All of this is set against Mayfield’s seemingly never-ending capacity for churning out great tunes, head-banging grooves and sonic timbres that challenge genre boundaries, further cements the qualities of “BLACK FLOYD”.
Boonie Mayfield always finds surprising new corners of both his persona and sound to explore. Here we find him in the roles of MI (The Doubt Slayer), MOSS ELF (The Dream Keeper), and EYE (Third Eye). A multi-instrumentalist, “BLACK FLOYD” is consistently distinguished, by Mayfield’s greatest strengths – lyrically, musically and technically. Right now, it’s obviously impossible to know whether the Colorado native has already delivered the album of the year, but for sure we know that he has delivered the one to beat, with “BLACK FLOYD”.
The Tracklist: ‘Intro (The Bigger Picture)’, ‘Bootsy Collins (All Day) [Explicit]’, ‘The Doubt Monster (Wherever I Go)’, ‘Dream a Mile High’, ‘While Black (Red Light, Blue Light, E’s and R’s) [Explicit]’, ‘Bass’d on a Birdwatcher (Make It Better) [Explicit]’, ‘So Much Fire, The Self Made Era’, ‘@Yourlife (Give It Something More)’, ‘Upside Johead’, ‘Quarantine Love (You’re the Only One)’, ‘Whatchagonnadoo’, ‘Outro (A Good Place)’.