Monday, 11 January 2016

Jan 16 - Soundcloud Goodies (Nu Masons, Ill Az, Ciaran Mac, Hype & Spee 69)

The SSU team return with their thoughts on new tracks, predominantly posted on Souncloud. In 2016, this will, like our podcasts, be a monthly feature.

Jonny: Sounds like an intro track on an album. Speaking of which, the introductory monologue goes on for too long. Instrumentally, I like the clash of styles - dark, heavy boom bap infused with reggae vocal refrains. The verses are passable enough - some great flows (you'd expect nothing less from Physiks in particular). Given it's a 7 minute posse-style cut with features, I don't think there's enough here that's lyrically grabbing. Consequently, it's a bit of a slog. 

Scuba: I completely agree. Nothing really that grabs my attention to keep me listening on this one. Extremely long intro, seguing into Physiks signature style (which I can listen to for days), but it seems like not much really happens to maintain that level. Liked the beat though. 

Jonny: I featured ill Az in one of my "singles round-ups" for The National last month, mainly because I think he's beginning to really develop a signature style. This new track shows off what he's already got: strong delivery, a clean flow and bags of energy. His next steps need to be producing longer tracks with clear cut themes.

Scuba: Under appreciated rapper and I love his vocal work. This is energetic and nicely written, and tightly stayswithin the confines of the drum patterns. Magic. I agree that a bit of conceptual work could be a nice way to attract some attention and keep people tuned in to what he's doing.

Jonny: I fully expect to Ciaran Mac to reach a bigger audience this year by one way or another. He's dropping bars all over the place on this one, developing the train-of-thought style of writing that he explored on 'Multicoloured'. I do hope he continues to make witty, more off-the-wall style stuff as well. But yeah, Ciaran is the man.

Scuba: Gotta love the man. Been working at his craft for a good few years now and doesn't bother with the arguing and tomfoolery some others seem to thrive on - he just gets his head down. Nice package put together here. 

Jonny: Lots of personality here. I like the title's play on an old phrase - it's good to see that the Aberdonian scene is developing confidence in its distinct identity. You can really hear that in Hype's accent as well - he has a really bizarre inflection that works surprisingly well. The rhymes are a bit sloppy at points - that's my only real criticism. 

Scuba: I think there needs to be some work on his timing. It could just be a writing issue, but you should be able to catch them during the recording process. So no excuses. Pretty nice on the most part though. 

Jonny: Verses 2 by Spee and Bigg Taj was one of my favourite projects from last year and their launch at Sleazy's one of my favourite shows. I'm so used to hearing Spee rap over oriental samples, so it's strange to hear a track like this. Even though it's more personal in nature, he brings the same level in energy and precision. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the hook on this but everything else had my head nodding. 

Scuba: Long time vet Big Spee is one of the very few people I actually enjoy for including sung vocals. You can tell he's been at this for a while now, his flow is on point and he rarely puts a foot wrong. Dope.