Leeds MC Teknico has built a strong reputation around his city with collaborations with Defenders of Style, his work with Tha Office and appearances on the battle rap circuit. He rounds off the year with the release of his debut solo album ‘Once Uphonour Time’, which features production from Leeds heads Wonky Logic and Alamak, and guest verses from Disgust, J Bravo, D Bizzy, P Solja and Potter.
‘Hip Hop’ opens the track, and the off-kilter production matches a quick flow and tight delivery from Teknico. His writing structure, and the rhyme schemes and patterns he uses, are both refreshing and interesting from the outset. ‘Hard Shit’ first made an appearance on YouTube over a year ago, and the track hasn’t ever left regular rotation for me. Multisyllabics galore, a hard hitting instrumental with groovy bass and synth lines and crisp textures (courtesy of Alamak) and witty rhyming from Teknico combine to make an early highlight.
The straight up boom bap banger ‘Dancing With A Demon’ is raw and gritty. The stripped back beat is perfect for the punchlines and aggressive style that the Leeds MC brings here. The uptempo ‘Get Exposed’ follows, and features veteran WY MC and fellow Office member J Bravo. The production is subtle and the rhyming entertaining. ‘Kriminal’ is another standout. Nico kicks the track off with the lyric ‘I ain’t from the dirty south but I rap-a-lot’, and the relentless, in-your-face lyricism from Tek and Disgust is raw and effective.
‘Rockabye Baby’ is my favourite track; the glitchy, video-game esque synthesizer is backed by thumping, bassy kicks and a snappy snare. Alamak is a criminally underrated producer, and Nico’s versatile flows sound crazily good over the beats on ‘Uphonour Time’, this track especially. On ‘Bloody Mess’ Teknico both talks about and shows his experience with a menacing performance over a tense instrumental. ‘Nicolas Caged’ is a sincere, gritty cut that shows Teknico’s savage pen and versatile skill set. ‘We Got This’ is a dope little posse cut, and finds J Bravo, Potter and P Solja joining Teknico for a great showcase of the talent in Tha Office’s roster.
‘Once Uphonour Time’ is a really impressive project from the Leeds spitter. Teknico’s writing has a perfect mix of wit, charisma and thuggishness, and Alamak’s production is top notch across the board (Wonky Logic does his thing on the opening track too). Teknico has been a familiar voice in the West Yorkshire scene and a full length album was highly anticipated. With an eclectic mix of concepts, styles and flows on show, ‘Once Uphonour Time’ is definitely worth the wait.
By Sam Bennett