Hey!Zeus : Holy Cow


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. 



Mr Brown :4our3ree EP


London-based producer Mr Brown has just dropped a fresh batch of boom-bap goodness with plenty of laidback listening for the rest of your summer. If you checked his recent Dusty Platter guest mix you’ll know the man is no stranger to crate diggin, and on 4our3ree his years invested in production show, as he assembles beautifully simple sounds with a light touch and plenty of attention to detail.

The first of four immaculate tracks begins with Fireside, setting it off smooth with spectral sax melodies adrift on calm waves of ambient piano; while plump kicks course under hazy strings on PassaBy, and Cru Day lingers with smoked-out sunshine vibes. For beatheads the sonic sensibilities are irresistible, it’s like the whole Redef roster planted themselves in Pete Rock’s basement and went to town on the SP, and as Summa closes on another high note, Mr Brown’s acute ear for dope loops has to be heard to be believed.

Get it for free, here.


Cyclonious & Chairman Maf : Hostile Leadership


 ‘This is far from basic, it’s high-class science, the mic is my appliance, where I deliver defiance.’

For years now the insightful lyricism Cyclonious pens has been an integral part of UK Hip Hop’s more conscious, politically perceptive side. Never Lose Your Passion was steeped in historical knowledge, Africa brought rejuvenating sun rays alongside Nate and Jalex, and the incendiary verses on Freedom were as anthemic as they were truthful. For his latest mixtape Hostile Leadership, the East-London MC has linked with Cambridge producer Chairman Maf, resulting in nine staggeringly good songs with a revolutionary mentality imbued in every well-worded bar. As Maf loops epic strings on the introductory title cut, Cyclonious fires venom-laced lines at any target unfortunate enough to cross his lyrical scopes, then maintains that high level of verbal dexterity over Magnetic‘s catchy piano chops.

 Escalating horns back righteous rhymes on The Land Of The Strong, while MMA Plus takes a page out of Stic’s book to offer positive words on the transformative power of mental and physical health; Chairman Maf’s ear for melodic sounds makes Never Topple another uplifting listen, followed by a more delicate approach to his production as he layers subtle sounds to accompany Tamarae‘s spiritual scriptures. Soulful samples shift in and out of  the foreground on Constant Pivot, with both Cyclonious and 4orce penning heavy verses around a mantra-like chorus; and Smoke & Mirrors stands out for it’s galvanizing words; ‘The body is a temple, if God made man in his image, then who do you resemble?’

 I replayed Together four times upon first hearing it; it’s not only the best tune on the record but is potentially one of the most important songs you’ll hear this year. Combining Maf’s finest hour musically with Cyc’s deepest bars and masterful, thought-provoking features from Phoenix Da Icefire and Apex Zero; the lyrics challenge paradigms without being confrontational, offer solutions instead of problems, and drop historical knowledge you won’t find on any curriculum.

There’s plenty of solid Hip Hop albums coming out of Britain right now, but very few balance refined intelligence with rugged breaks the way Hostile Leadership does. Enlightening and entertaining in equal measure, the album illustrates exactly why underground music is so vital.

Buy it here.


Hawk House : A Handshake To The Brain


 With their  first mixtape A Little More Elbow Room, this London trio formed themselves a solid foundation, carving their niche from cooled-out jazz loops and elegant, mellow wordplay. Their second album A Handshake To The Brain continues right where they left off, as Hawk House amplify everything that made their début so exciting.

Brothers Sam and Eman bat bars back and forth, combining with Demae’s airy, soulful harmonies on opener My Mind Is The Weapon, then display their highly-honed songwriting skills on Grow. The beats knock hard on Vulcan Grip‘s electronic shuffle; then meander wistfully for the sombre spoken word piece Her Anatomy; and as a relaxed narrative guides you throughout each of the brain’s cognitive functions, The Nervous System balances the left and right hemipheres with creative, yet detailed storytelling bars, finding their protagonist ‘under constant pressure from the bredrins’ as he recalls last night’s beef.

The title track’s concise rhymes breeze by on another hazy instrumental, before Demae’s sweet melodies inaugurate the short-lived boom-bap tones of Slow Down and Chill Pill ( Experiment 2 ) begins with superlative wordplay that’s worth the album’s asking price alone. Combining their underground rawness with a more polished sound; the clique seem to soar upwards as they meet their full potential on this stand-out tune, offering a perfectly-timed snapshot of their current creative zenith.

As the loose snares on Lights Off fade into the ether and this short, but promising record ends; it’s a sure shot that A Handshake For The Brain is just another well-placed step, as Hawk House confidently tread their own path towards the success they deserve.

Buy it from itunes here.