It’s always been difficult to compare Bunji Garlin with anyone else on the soca circuit. His technical lyricism and taste for progressive and innovative instrumentals have gone against the grain of the genre, while cementing his place as a staple artist in the field. The first soca album to be released through a major label in a decade, Differentology reflects Garlin’s evolution as an artist as well as his unrelenting loyalty to his own vision and aesthetic.
This collection, which includes hits “Carnival Tabanca,” “Red Light District” and the title track, runs the gamut of high-energy revelry to enchanting and nostalgic melodies. With appearances by hip-hop star A$AP Ferg, and a couple of remixes thrown in, this LP is more than a seasonal treat but a document with relevance that goes beyond Carnival, a significant feat for a soca Album. It showcases Garlin’s ability to really hone in on the essence of West Indian culture and put forth music with timeless appeal capable of resonating both regionally and internationally. —Maj Johnson