Hey!Zeus : Holy Cow

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Obba Supa producer Hey!Zeus is back with another dope production on his new 7″ Holy Cow. Jehst and Kashmere spin a potent lyrical cocktail that measures equal parts eastern mysticism with UK slang, blessing a jangling beat that vapourizes wooden percussion and oriental flutes into a thick haze that lingers between the emcee’s esoteric bars. To celebrate this essential slice of psychedelic wax, the London-based beatmaker has organized a free show next Wednesday at The Silver Bullet. DJ sets come from Evil Ed, Boom Bap Professional’s Oliver Sudden, 7th Dan, Dusty Green Fuzz and Sonny Delight, while the line-up of emcee’s boasts both a Strange U and Kashmere solo set, TD’s Ray Vendetta and Tesla’s Ghost, and a spoken word set from Ma’ankha Bast. Holy Cow will get a digital and vinyl release in early October, with a video dropping soon.

More details on the event page here. 

Peace!

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The Boot EP Remixes

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It’s only been a few months since Cappo, Jazz T and Zygote dropped the Boot EP, and already their ill originals have been blessed with remixes from some of the UK’s finest producers. Telemachus, Jehst, Mr Brown and Sam Zircon all get creative with Cappo’s versatile rhymes, forming stylistically individual tracks that all retain an unmistakeably British sliver of grimness.

Telemachus starts with a stealthy re-imagining of Yul Brynner that blooms on a melodic hook before quickly shrinking back into the bass-driven shadows of the brooding verses, while Mr Brown loops a dusted break under dramatic stabs with a gritty low-end groove on Kitted Out. High Plains Drifter and YNR Productions head honcho Jehst assembles a spaced-out instrumental as Cappo spits ‘that raw, un-programmable Orson Welles shit’ on Out Of Your Mind, before Sam Zircon closes out this dope EP with another clandestine jazz flip, stacking subtle vibraphones next to menacing keys as Tree Frog sneaks through your speaker.

Buy it here.

Peace.

Raw Product : Supplying The Demand

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Spreading their message of ‘trueness, not newness’ , Mista Flix and De Facto Entertainment head-honcho Stealf are about to release their first  LP, Supplying The Demand. Since collaborating on Flix’ Lord Of the Real EP series, the duo have been hard at work honing their particular brand of British boom-bap; and with a tracklist brimming with solid tunes that feature the likes of Micall Parknsun, Cappo, Jehst and Twizzy; Raw Product are about to put out a début that’s sure to get those underground heads noddin’. Stealf’s traditional take on production is strengthened by his use of the MPC60; following in Premo’s footsteps by sticking to this beatmaking foundation to forge dusted breaks for Flix to destroy; which he does on every track, flowing like someone dissed Hip Hop and he made it his personal mission to defend it.

After an entertaining intro that subtly let’s you know the beat game is on point; Count Me In begins  rugged and hard-hitting, followed by fresh flows from Parky on Sicksteen; the YNR productions MC and producer piling on heaps of style, ‘still diggin in the crates like Finesse, I’m a diamond in the rough with the flows I possess’. Hide & Seek sees Stealf looping a well-known record, yet still stamping his unique I.D on the track with inventive sampling that takes the tune in a new direction, and inspires Flix to deliver more raw rhymes with a well-written hook. Nottingham-based hard-hitter Cappo storms the track with his inimitable lyrical projectiles on Major Weight, killing it after a serious start from Flix, and Jabba The Kut’s wax-mangling chorus.

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 Stealf’s gully beat on Akaimatics provides one of Supplying The Demand‘s finest moments, as Flix name-drops classic raps from some of the culture’s best known audio artifacts; before Jehst’s guest bars on the dope D.I.T.C-style steez of Choose Your Weapon takes the track to new heights, with intricate bars that harbour the same hunger he had on Return Of The Drifter; and Flix pens a fitting dedication the 5 elements on another catchy chorus; ‘Choose your weapon, put the pen to the pad, hit the rubbers on the Akai every time that you’re mad.’ The verbal attack Mista Flix fires off ends as urgently as it begun; joined by a final feature from Three Headed Beast MC Twizzy, who blesses Stealf’s stand-out beat by rhyming with an honesty you can’t manufacture; and brings a fat chorus with him to boot.

Supplying The Demand is a strong start from the De Facto duo; their obvious love the for the music and D.I.Y work ethic translates into tunes that will resonate with Hip Hop fans worldwide. This short introduction into their musical process continues the traditions that UK Hip Hop artists before them worked to establish; retaining integrity and pride through a clear vision of where they want to be creatively; with no time for anything except heavy breaks and hard bars.

The album drops May 30th. You can pre-order it digitally, grab the parcel-wrapped, hand-stamped special edition CD, or buy it bundled with the Choose Your Weapon 7″, here.

3/5

Peace.

Confucius MC : The Highest Order

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Known for his part in a duo with MF DOOM’s live drummer, Kwake; South East London’s Confucius MC has surpassed all expectations with his accomplished début The Highest Order. The last few years have seen the rapper support Mos Def and Slum Village, drop a quality solo mixtape, and link with Jehst’s YNR Productions. With this respected platform behind him, his first lyrical offering proves his capabilities as a captivating rhymer, offering a masterclass on intelligent musicianship with a laidback cool. His content balances confident flows with insightful lines informed by a wealth of knowledge, making for an album that reciprocates the amount of attention you give it.

The concise rhymes align over beats from French producer Keor Meteor; who’s ear for uncommon jazz loops, sweet soul flips and interesting audio clips ensures CoNvey The Thought starts strong as they mean to go on; while Sign Of Quality sees Confucius spittin’ with conviction; ‘I’ll make your shit stop dead like the game’s crashin, I came to represent my skill, you came to cash in, place my shit parallel, who’ sprayin’ with passion?’ Keor’s production challenges both the MC and the listener on Original‘s conversational sample source; then switches to a simpler, more melodic tone to back stellar bars on Still Image; whilst Keor’s production shines on Eyes To Sky, placing delicate vocals on a beautifully understated chorus.

 CoNsciousness utilizes a rare moment that finds David Lynch not peddling transcendental meditation; his golf-ball analogy introducing a Madlib-style loop with slick storytelling bars from Con that touch topics close to any head’s heart; ‘Tryn’a take rap to a summit, but all they wana do is down-dumb it, and these clowns love it.’  Is It Real breezes through on a smooth flute loop to address authenticity, while Ponder On This speaks on society’s slanted structure through heavily-effected vocal tones.

Lovely Chronic lounges in a fog of piff smoke to lead into the title track’s cinematic sounds; and pitched-up soul-cuts uplift on It’s All Around Us as Keor’s production and Con’s content peak together in this salient track. Deep Regions keeps the standard high, with lines more mysterious than the cryptic Pulp-Fiction-briefcase adorning the cover; ‘from the deeper regions, from which I keep receiving, visions of higher life forms, deep and breathing, take a seat, we can speak this evening, we can shed some light, or we can keep deceiving.’ Write From The Start sketches out a short verse over bass-heavy breaks, leaving Never Ending Dream to close with purposeful flows. The audio-collage approach Keor takes to his beats keeps The Highest Order consistently interesting; and when coupled with Con’s ability to craft memorable songs through insightful lines uncoloured by ignorance, the result is nothing short of Hip Hop at it’s finest.

Buy it here.

5/5

Peace.