Danny Lover – The Church Restaurant Official Soundtrack (Review)

Danny Lover, Reviews

Canadian musician Danny Lover blesses us with his latest full length project; ‘The Church Restaurant Official Soundtrack’ is a ten-track release fresh for 2017, and he partners once again with prolific underground British label Blah Records for the LP. Danny’s eclectic, experimental style has won him the attention of listeners across the globe, and this project is sure to capitalise on and further increase the stature he already enjoys.

The eery piano keys that punctuate the off-beats on ‘Secrets’ are a masterful touch on an early reminder of Danny’s super-swagged out style. The raw, slurred vocals are effortlessly delivered over the under-water vocal samples and shuffled drums, and the Blah Records MC exhibits his truly unique technique the whole way across the LP. Revered Sheffield lyricist and Bad Taste Records representative Trellion appears on the gorgeous, soulful ‘Skinny Pimp’. Lover and Trelli are both renowned for their super-slow flows (if you’re not a fan, Danny’s calling you out on here), and the smoked-out vibe is expertly handled.

The rising trend in cinematic, subtle beats with no drums is a welcome new tradition in hip-hop, and Danny seamlessly delivers his vivid lyrics on a simplistic string-based production on the emphatic ‘Lex’. It’s not easy to make this sound so fluid, and it’s a true testament to the Canadian spitter’s ability and natural charisma that this is one of the album’s finest. ‘Rare Nirvana’ features fellow Blah heads Salar and Lee Scott, and the witty, sing-a-long chorus is partnered with verses packed with banging punchlines from the dope line-up of MC’s dropping with precision over a dreamy instrumental. The penultimate tune ‘Rose Garden’ is a mellow, jazzy number; the dusty drums, gracious sax and melodic vocal blend to make a stunning cut in the closing stages.

The consistent, absorbing vibe on ‘The Church Restaurant Official Soundtrack’ makes the album wonderfully hypnotic; Danny commands a great vocabulary, and encompasses vivid imagery, slick punchlines and a charismatic demeanour that makes this latest release a resounding achievement. Blah Records have done it again, and with a few more months left in the year, the prolific label is bound to have a couple more things up it’s sleeve.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@PoppaXanny

@BlahRecords

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.blahrecords.com

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Bisk – Don’t Piss It Off (Review)

Bisk, Reviews

There’s no stopping Blah Records this year; the longstanding independent label continues its incredibly productive schedule with the release of ‘Don’t Piss It Off’, an LP from London MC Bisk with production handled by North London beatsmith Formz.

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The LP opens with ‘Slippin’, and the gloomy, slow-moving instrumental backs Bisk’s signature gritty, cocky lyricism and murky flows as he drops hard-hitting punchlines in creative bars laced with vivid imagery and drenched in swagger. ‘Big City’ features veteran Blah MC Lee Scott, and the crisp, jazzy drums and haunting piano lines are perfect for Bisk’s braggodious approach, and Lee’s witty verse is an absolute killer, and finds the Runcorn lyricist spitting quotables such as “lost in me own mind/The Higgs boson was in me pocket the whole time” and the genius closing bar “why? It’s just the letter after X”.

‘Cult De Sag’ is a banging posse cut; the track features Danny Lover, Salar and Sleazy F Baby and the four Blah heads go back to back cramming in short, energetic verses. The track lasts just over two minutes, but the concise format definitely works in it’s favour. Sheffield based MC Sniff appears on the lazy, ultra-chilled ‘Beazy’; Formz’s low-key production and the intoxicating vocals from both rappers make this track a highlight of the ‘Don’t Piss It Off’ LP. Closing out on the subtle piano based ‘Marooned’, the concise, cohesive project is yet another one to add to Blah Records ever-growing discography; the independent label is enjoying one of it’s most consistent and creative periods in it’s decade long history, and Bisk is one of several new additions to the roster that has been killing it for the past year or so.

With one of the most impressive work-rates in the game, Bisk is one to keep tabs on. ‘Don’t Piss It Off’ is the latest in a healthy run of projects for the London MC; with Formz at the helm of the beats, Bisk is free to let loose with his razor sharp pen-game, bringing a unique and distinctive outlook to the table, executed with flair and finesse across the album’s ten tracks (discounting the intro and outro). Something tells me it won’t be too long before we hear from the Blah MC again, but until then ‘Don’t Piss It Off’ is sure to remain in rotation for the foreseeable future.

Morriarchi – Buggzville Sessions (Review)

Morriarchi, Reviews

Blah Records continue their insanely productive 2016 with the release of ‘Buggzville Sessions’, the full length LP from longstanding and respected producer Morriarchi, with features from a who’s who of the best in hip-hop from the British Isles, as well as Canadian MC Danny Lover also making an appearance.

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The menacing ‘Hush Ya Beak’, with it’s glitchy drums and screeching samples, is a perfect opener; it serves both as a reminder or as an introduction (depending upon your familiarity with Morri’s work) to his distinctively gloomy, hard-hitting sound. The shrouded-in-mystery MC Rox Slicken appears on this first cut, and he absolutely destroys the unorthodox beat.

‘Campbell & Algar’ is a slow-moving, swegged out banger from two of the UK’s finest lyricists. Jehst and Lee Scott collaborate on what is a long anticipated pairing for rap fans the underground over, and it doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. This is witty, sarcastic hip-hop at it’s genius best; Lee’s savage bar claiming just how much of the pie is his is a standout, and Billy Brimstone’s ‘Why everybody wanna rap hella fast? I’m in the bath with a copy of The Telegraph’ lyric is simply incredible. Only Jehst could make such a simplistic segment of writing sound so poignant.

Welsh Collective Squid Ninjaz are represented by MC’s Hekla and Joe Dirt who appear on ‘Roach Lyfe’. The gritty, grimey and smoked out production, which comes complete with hazy switch-up’s that compliment the lyrics as they hammer through the system, is absolutely fire, and the hard-hitting lyricism is silkily executed. Morri’s remix of Bisk’s tune ‘Pimpfunk’, which was originally produced by Lee Scott and was released on Bisk’s ‘Raw Shit’ EP, is up next. The smooth, cinematic, Tarantino-esque production takes Bisk’s raw, passionate vocal to an entirely different place from the upfront, hard-hitting original version.

Sheffield veterans Trellion and Sniff appear on ‘Buggzville’ and the leftfield, tripped out beat is perfect for both Northern lyricists’ cocky, laidback styles. Trellion’s verse shines, with some characteristic quotables; ‘I’m way iller anyday/but I don’t know shit about shit, who the fuck’s J Dilla anyway’ is just one of many. The Danny Lover solo track ‘Kapcha’ is the highlight of the LP, with the phased, affected bluesy guitar samples perfectly combining with Danny’s lazy flow and infectious delivery.

The album closes out with a Bisk solo track, entitled ‘No Phone Calls’; the simplistic, subtle production backs the Blah MC’s savage tongue as he delivers relentless screwface-inducing bars with a mixture of passionate realness and comedic flourishes.

‘Buggzville Sessions’ is quality through and through; the dark soundscape created takes a few listens to properly comprehend, but the vibe Morriarchi creates is thoroughly original and leaves a lasting impression long after Lee Scott’s adlibs on the final song have faded from the speakers. Blah Records’ talented roster is represented heavily on this release, and with Sleazy F Baby’s solo project due for release very soon they show no sign of slowing down.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@Morriarchi

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://blahrecords.com

Danny Lover – My Best Friends Keep Dying (Review)

Danny Lover, Reviews

Blah Records has been making moves as of late. Of course, the legendary record label owned by Lee Scott and Reklews has been putting out forward thinking, authentic and raw hip hop since its inception, but the resurgence in recent years is refreshing to say the least. ‘My Best Friends Keep Dying’ is the debut release from Canadian rapper Danny Lover; it’s also the second Blah release from an artist not based in the UK, after New York rapper Darkstar’s 2011 ‘The Last Beginning Of The End’ EP. Posthumously produced by 19.thou$and in its entirety, the trippy, slow paced instrumentals with unique sample choices coupled with Danny Lover’s emotional delivery and witty lyricism make for a dope project.

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With the haunting, somber mood created by the guitar samples and restrained, subtle drum beats guaranteed to keep your head nodding, Danny Lover’s personal approach really makes you pay attention to both his writing and his emotion, which is conveyed effectively and powerfully on the fantastic opener ‘Singapore’. Danny’s unique approach and palette for instrumentals with an experimental feel definitely make ‘My Best Friends Keep Dying’ an exciting and continuously interesting album; he doesn’t stick to a played out formula at all on this project, not one bit.

‘Boo-Yaka-Sha’ features another Tarantino-esque guitar sample with dusty drums; the production on this album is cohesive, consistent and most importantly pretty damn incredible. Danny Lover’s stoned delivery makes for a slightly menacing feel on this standout track. ‘Jesus’ is a soulful affair with a well executed concept, witty yet moody lyricism and nicely structured bars.

‘That Thunder’ is an exceptional closer. The self-deprecating, honest approach over an infectious guitar sample and slow paced drums results in a moving love song to close an exceptionally unique album in fantastic fashion.

‘My Best Friends Keep Dying’ is an album I can’t recommend enough. It’s a project that is unique, skilful and it has a staying power that will linger long after the closing track. 19.thou$and’s instrumentals are perfectly suited to Danny’s approach and vocal style, and the organic vibe is consistent throughout; Blah Records have delivered yet again with a top quality release.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.blahrecords.com

Black Josh – The Blosh EP

Black Josh, Reviews

Black Josh has had quite a year. The Manchester MC initially started to make a real impact with his appearances on The Mouse Outfit’s ‘Escape Music’, and continued his tremendous work ethic throughout 2014, with a number of excellent appearances on Blah Records projects, as well as releasing his ‘#BlahBlahBlackJosh’ mixtape through the label. He closes the year out with ‘The Blosh EP’, which is a collection of raw, boom bap beats being rocked by Black Josh’s signature rapid flow and witty stoner bars. 

Black Josh The Blosh EP

Josh begins with ‘Booker T’, featuring Cheech from The Bluntskins, another tight Manchester MC. The lazy instrumental backs both rappers who each impress with witty, well structured verses, each with nice flows. ‘Mark Dice’ is definitely a highlight, with Lee Scott and Danny Lover joining Black Josh on a swegged out anthem from the Blah cult.

Both ‘Gotta Get It’, which features frequent collaborator Wordz, and ‘Remain Raw’ show Josh at his best, with uptempo boom bap instrumentals perfectly matched to his percussive, rapid delivery. ‘The Reminder’ is a chilled vibe and is a dope track to close the project out, with its relaxed beat being laced with Josh’s confident spitting.

‘The Blosh EP’ is another nice project to add to Josh’s ever expanding discography, demonstrating consistently impressive flows and intricate writing over perfectly suited instrumentals, contributed by some of the nicest producers in the scene, including 2Late, Reklews and Illinformed, amongst others. This is definitely one to check out.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@BlackJoshAPE

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

https://blahrecords.bandcamp.com