EP Review: Reset II – Obsidian Cane

In the midst of unprecedented times brought by Covid-19 pandemic back in March 2020, London producer OBSIDIAN CANE was about to throw in the towel as the uncertainty of the music industry took its toll; with clubs and music festivals shutting down one by one. As he was about to turn his back on the music industry for good, his manager gave him one piece of valuable advice and that was to: keep releasing music. After all, people will be listening to music more than ever, now they were effectively in complete isolation. Following the advice of his manager, Obsidian produced a collection of music and his debut EP Reset was born.

Released on August 2020, Reset EP signifies the rebirth of his musical direction under a new alias. In his former life, Obsidian Cane scored a club hit, ‘I Need a Rhythm’ as UKG duo KP with fellow acclaimed producer Paul Benjamin. He also produced music for BBC1, BBC2, amongst others. As his new direction in the music industry goes from strength to strength, Obsidian released his second EP Reset II, where he called upon three promising upcoming singers/songwriters who are holding their own in London’s music scene: Joy Ami, Ferraz and Stacey Pierre – all of which their featured tracks signifies the EP theme of regrowth.

Joy Ami’s ‘Mr. Creep’ and Ferraz’s ‘Shine’ both tell the story of breaking away from the overbearing and controlling partner, feeling completely freeing themselves from the language that was set upon them, thus feeling renewed. Stacey Pierre concludes the mini project with a different perspective of renewal with ‘Secret Place’: the message of this single is that it’s OK to step into your personal to regained your yourself in order to fight another day.

Sonically, the EP possesses that familiar sound of UKG, that’ll be most welcomed to the nostalgics of the 90s version of the genre, while simultaneously sitting well with the younger generation thanks to its fresh spin.

Released on Christmas Eve, ‘Reset’ II EP was perfectly timed for release into the new year, as subconsciously it provokes all of us to release ourselves from all the luggage that’s weighting us down and look forward to be a better (and revitalised) version of ourselves.

Take a listen now…

Must listen: Shine, Secret Place

EP Review: Trepac – Juice Cannon x Dice Cannon

JUICE CANNON and DICE CANNON have been steadily making their name in the underground hip-hop scene in their hometown, New York City for the last ten years now. Their latest collaborative project, ‘Trepac’, shows their appreciation for being in the rap game for so long, reflecting on their hard grind and achievements made along the way.

I have to say, this EP may be three tracks long, but the pair instantly shows us the very reason why they lasted so long in the game through the infectiously bass-heavy intro, ‘Twin Towers’, which documents the hard drive of building their craft from the very bottom right to the top. Their second offering, ‘No Statements’ carries on that infectiously head-bopping vibe, with loops of soulful vocals, later weighted in by one hell of b-line, which reverberates throughout the track.

Changing the tempo of the mini set is final piece, ‘Demon Time’, a smooth soulful trap joint where each rapper adds a peppery flow to the entire production.

Now I’ve already said this earlier in the review and it’s worth saying again: This mini fiery set shows the reason why these emcees are ranked so high in New York’s underground hip-hop scene and it wouldn’t surprise me if they overspill very quickly into the international scene very soon. Why not check out the EP below…

Must Listen: No Statements

REVIEW: HASTEN MERCY – HEAD FAKE’S MICHAEL BAKER

Fusing indie pop with influences of country and folk music may seem like an odd partnership on paper for many, but this is what fundamentally makes up Toronto artist Michael Baker’s three-piece project, ‘Hasten Mercy.’

The haziness of the 80’s inspired synths softly poke through the hazy backdrop introduces the EP through the single ‘Star You Are.’ The guitar rounds up the three-and-a-half production, giving off a rich Americana sound.

With the driving grit of the electro bassline being the main feature, the second offering, ‘These Things’ (personally) more takes on a trippy downtempo tone, contributed by the woeful presence from the piano and violins.

Offering an appealing imitate setting, the artist invites us into his world through the final single, ‘I Break Everything’. He uses a vocal instrument to give a wholesome folk ballad that works perfectly against the soft electronic backdrop.

Michael Baker, who is the man behind the moniker Hasten Mercy, is known for pushing the boundaries to the extreme when it comes to experimenting with different genres. His solo project is a true testimony of his ability to merge unlikely genres into a very pleasing collection. All three singles have a solid potential for commanding regular attention on contemporary radio stations.

Have a listen to Hasten Mercy’s mini collection below…

Must Listens: I Break Everything, These Things

EP Review: Rhyme Slingers -Redd Tune Productions

If you’re regular passer by on the blog, the name REDD TUNES must ring a bell as he has been featured countless of times with EPs that takes you back to the golden hip-hop/boom-bap era.

As always, Redd Tunes pulls a stellar line up for his releases and his project, ‘Rhyme Slingers’ is no exception, as the guest artists gives some extra swag to the irresistibly melodic productions which, at times, takes on a old school soulful favour and modern psychedelic sound. New recruit, Isis Aset, gives off a blazing vibrancy against the woeful violins, creating an almost classical sound in second effort, ‘Crisis’. Old staple Cubian Pete, offers up his unapologetically Londoner flow in ‘Blurrr’.

As well as producing the project, the man himself teamed up with fellow veteran emcee and long-time collaborator TJ Chill for track ‘Pioneers,’ a smooth hip-hop/boom bap piece accompanied by sporadic runs of the piano keys which serves as the perfect platform for both taking turns to showcase their ballsy delivery.

Although this neat set of just seven tracks holds a very similar golden urban sound, Redd Tunes’ Rhyme Slinger, to me, also bursts with a fresh and boisterous sound that begs attention. Check it out below…

Must Listens: Crisis, Blurrr, Pioneers, Anagram of Goldz

EP Review: Take It Or Leave It – Kiana Corley

KIANA CORLEY‘s latest heartfelt EP, ‘Take it or Leave it,’ tells a story of reflecting on new love, break ups, lost love, and self reflection; a kind of reflection that can only be gained when you take a step back from that relationship. Kiana delivers the aforementioned themes in a wholesome soulful voice – a cross-between Sade and Corinne Bailey Rae – where she’s not backwards in coming forward in telling the truth.

Sonically, the five-track set goes on a journey through many different musical styles – from upbeat ukulele- infused pop to funk. Highly motivated by helping and inspiring others, through her authentically original music, Kiana hopes this EP will help with the healing process of anyone who had to go through a hard breakup.

So if you’ve just come out of a messy relationship, it’s time to start the healing process; have a listen to Kiana’s soothing EP below…

Must Listens: Lukewarm, Tell Me, Black Canvas