Hereford based MC Chillman, who was born in Asmara, Eritrea, releases his four track EP entitled ‘Defeat Stress’ through Verb T’s In The Balance Records, which over the final few months of 2015 built up an increasingly formidable reputation. Artists like Chillman, MADLean and Moreone have showcased the chilled, progressive and intelligent sound that the label is promoting.
The first tune, the title track, is restrained and subtle; Chillman has a certain grit to his tone of voice which takes the introspective and relatable verses to another level, and Verb T holds down both the production and the chorus. Chillman’s flow is at some times unorthodox, switching up his patterns a number of times throughout the verses, and it’s undeniably a dope opener to the project.
The classy vibe continues with ‘Say’; the crisp hi-hats, filters and soulful production backs Chillman’s authoritative microphone presence; this EP is a brief introduction to the up and coming MC, and he’s one of the most promsing writers to keep an eye on in 2016 as he prepares for his full length LP entitled ‘Abstract Patterns’, which is entirely produced by Verb T.
As with Moreone’s ‘Turn Back’ EP, we also get two quality remixes on here. Leaf Dog’s signature loose style is evident on his version of ‘Defeat Stress’, with crunchy drums and simplistic sampling that is executed fantastically. Illinformed also provides a remix of ‘Say’, and the traditional boom-bap stylings hit hard and home; the RLD producer has constantly impressed over the last few years.
In The Balance have done it again; with a number of quality EPs having been released as 2015 drew to a close, this year is certainly going to be an exciting one as we await full length projects from Moreone, Chillman and MADLean & Ben Hauke. The ‘Defeat Stress’ EP showcases Chillman’s sharp writing, and his style definitely stands out amongst the rest of the MCs on the ITB roster (and in the UK scene in general). This is well worth checking out.
By Sam Bennett