Edward Scissortongue, one of the sharpest, most impressive and incredibly unique artists operating in the UK hip-hop scene, has teamed up with frequent collaborator Lamplighter for this new 8-track EP, ‘Chaviassian Striking Distance’. Consisting of four instrumental tracks and four with vocals, this is a thought provoking, captivating and very cohesive project. High Focus Records have been killing it this year, with a steady stream of fantastic releases, and the train is still running at full steam.
The glitchy, hypnotic ‘EFIM’ sets the tone for the project in storming fashion, with a subtle, mysterious instrumental that builds anticipation for what is to follow. ‘The Prospector’, which I’d heard previously uploaded on the High Focus YouTube channel, with a mesmerizing video, is a fantastically written piece of work. With haunting piano lines and looping drums backing Scissor as he spits with vivid detail. Ed’s storytelling abilities are always something to be taken in intently on tracks like this one.
‘Same In The Dark’ continues this trend. Lamplighter’s intention to detail on the instrumentals is something that matches Edward Scissortongue’s style so perfectly. Scissor’s multisyllabic rhyme schemes and complex writing style, along with the stellar production make this cut one of the standouts. Additionally the video is a must watch. ‘The Red Boat’ too is a fantastic track, with a restrained, excellently orchestrated instrumental, complete with reverberated piano lines as well as haunting synth lines. This allows Scissortongue to again demonstrate his lyrical dexterity that has you rewinding over and over.
Of the four instrumental tracks, ‘Construction Loudest’ is definitely my favourite. With an electronic soundscape that fits with the mood the pair have created on the prior tracks, this track is a fantastic addition. This is followed up with ‘Attic’, which closes the EP, and is another excellent display from both Scissor on the mic and Lamplighter on the production.
‘Chavassian Striking Distance’ is the precursor to the duo’s forthcoming second album, following 2012s ‘Better.Luck.Next.Life’, due for release later this year. This is the perfect taster for what is to come, as it’s another project filled with extraordinary lyricism and truly fantastic production. High Focus’ vast array of diverse talent is forever astounding, and this is another excellent release to add to their ever growing catalogue.
By Sam Bennett