Like a young crew of Hip Hop Lee Ritenour’s, Sumochief bring the smooth progressive jazz on their latest EP. Their unique filter finds them re-contextualizing Dilla and Busta interview snippets over shape-shifting guitar runs from Oscar Laurence on 1of1; Joe Armon-Jones scatters loose keys amongst Olly Sarkar’s swinging snares, with both moving from background to lead roles during the song’s seven minute odyssey, anchored by Jack Polley’s walking basslines that orbit a central refrain. Gator Season continues this immersive journey with another winding epic, this time drawing inspiration from Frank Zappa as his poignant words float above glissando guitars and mellow organs, driven by a swinging beat.
The band’s boom bap influence shines on through the lyrical styles Slam The Poet and Cecil B Demented drop on Segundo, while Happy Joy revels in the dance not the destination; slowly building in intensity while further clarifying the band’s take on creative expression through timeless teachings from the Alan Watts series Tao Of Philosophy. London emcee MADLean blesses the closing track It Is What It Is with confident flows, amplifying the aspects that made his 2013 release Batteries Not Included such a banger as he gets busy over piano lines so sample-able you’d they came off Poinciana. Training in classical jazz may not be the first trait you look for when searching for new Hip Hop artists, but it’s gifted the four men in Sumochief the knowledge to assemble some of this year’s most interesting instrumentals; don’t sleep.
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