London-based label Blunted Astronaut Records have been releasing non-stop gems on vinyl over the last year or so; and with their sick last release Thousand Word Exodus with Nottingham’s Cappo, and Amulets, their highly anticipated upcoming 12″ with Melanin9, it seemed only right for me to pay homage to their current wax, an essential single that is no doubt gracing the 1200’s of many an audiophile worldwide. Deep Breath features top-class production from boom-bap veteran and SP1200 masterchef DJ Doom, cuts by fellow beatmaker and seasoned turntablist DJ Tha Boss, a feature from D.I.T.C legend O.C, and AOTP & Demigodz MC Blacastan. As if that list of credentials wasn’t enough, Eddie Sancho from Premier’s legendary D&D studio’s handled the mixdown, and the single features instrumentals, accapellas, and all extra goodness you don’t get with digital downloads.
From the Illmatic sample to the drum break under the rhymes, Deep Breath is modern interpretation of a classic sound. O.C. blesses the track with his instantly recognisable rhymes, and Blacastan uses wise words for ‘reflecting truth to the youth’. DJ Doom’s production embraces tradition with filtered verses, Lord Finesse-style fading horns and guitar stabs throughout the verses, and hype vocal accents with more ‘yeah‘ and ‘yos‘ than a Fab Five Freddy interview. As the day fades in the promo vid, B Side Passive Aggression matches the darker mood, with Blacastan firing off more heavy bars as dusk descends over the Brooklyn Bridge. His lines fire littered with more tight couplets, touching on fake industry rappers, dedicating a bar to the departed X-ecutioners DJ and DMC Champion Roc Raida, and unloading more lyrical slugs; ‘The next time I rhyme, I go twice as hard, body the track hard enough to catch life in the yard.’ Doom’s beat laces the track with tons of style, the simplicity of his chops knitting together Blacastan’s lines with Tha boss’s cuts to create a flurry of fly rhymes rooted in old school sensibility. As a dope bonus, the crew include a Deep Breath remix that sees it emerging fresh from the lab reinvigorated; giving the vocals a calming effect compared to the hype original, acting more as re-interpretation than your typical remix, and closing this dope vinyl-only single release strong. If your into that NY sound right now or from back in the day, this LP is sure to satisfy as it treads the thin line between both.
Grab the record now over at Blunted Astronaut.