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

Album Review: Sameways – Oloff

OLOFF circles back to the limelight with second project of the year, ‘Sameways’, which sonically takes on a more sombre route than its predecessor, ‘Expat’, which carries an appeasing presence of retro soul and samples that’s associated with the Golden Hollywood era.

A downtempo, yet somewhat airy electronic drive dominates the ten track set momentarily interrupted by melodic chants (as heard in intro track, ‘Always’), 808/hip-hop beats (in ‘Bonce’ and ‘Half Open’).

Covering the themes of eternal recurrence, amphetamines, paranoia and circular living, ‘Sameways’ concludes with alternating sounds of industrial soundscapes, that can pierce through the coldest of souls, and hypnotic chants.

Sometimes, I wonder what goes through the mind of this indie rapper, who creatives extreme off-the-cuff material that somehow (I think) has potential widespread appeal. If you’re inquisitive enough to enter Oloff’s world, why not hit the button on the album below.

Must Listens: Bonce, Half Open, Ten

Mixtape Review: Flymix Vol.2 – Fly Von

An attention-grabbing jittering sound comes piercing through first track ‘Automatic’, giving a bold introduction to FLY VON‘s latest mixtape, ‘FlyMix Vol.2’.

The prospective listener would be given if the seven-track set follows through with the jarringly-dope tone offered up in the intro track. However ‘FlyMix Vol.2’ changes direction and gives a smooth run of lack-laid slow jams vibing with a heavy bass that gives each arrangements that extra kick – with the exception of ‘Broke In A Minute’ which pretty much takes on a similar tone as ‘Automatic’, boasting a looping horn that goes rampant with fly’s flow oozing into the boisterous sound.

The mixtape eases down and concludes with ‘No Surprise’. With trance-like and hazy soundscapes, ‘No Surprise’ is a type of track that you kick back and roll up on your own or with some friends.

Fly Von always comes different and this mixtape is sure to ascend nicely on his ever-fly discography – get it? Oh never mind; Check ‘FlyMix Vol.2’ out below plus songs recommendations below…

Must Listens: Automatic, 24, All Your Fault,

Mixtape Review: Expat – Oloff

What I find so appeasing about Bristolian rapper OLOFF is that you can never guess his next move. His second project of the year, ‘Expat’ took me a bit by surprise as it contain pretty slick uses of samples, ranging from retro soul, right through rock/90s grunge plus samples that has a twang of 50s Hollywood Glamour – see, I told his guy was so delightfully unpredictable!

One thing that’s not predictable is his infamous askew delivery which at times ferociously pierces through some of the most delicate productions (listen to intro single ‘I Don’t Breathe’, ‘Obvious/Someone’s Missing/Luigi’s Mansion)

I appreciate that ‘Expat’ isn’t everyone’s cup of tea or a one size fits all type of mixtape, but it’s definitely worth a go just to hear the juxtaposition of his wayward delivery against the varied arrangements.

Must Listen: I Don’t Breathe, Lord’s Prayer, Luigi’s Mansion