Mothership Connection – This Train Goes To Junkleberry Junction

Mothership Connection, Reviews

Manchester collective Mothership Connection come together to release their highly anticipated EP entitled ‘This Train Goes To Junkleberry Junction’. They dropped the five track project back in April and the raw bangers on here haven’t left the rotation since.

The opening track ‘Mo Town’ is an energetic, dusty boom bap banger laced with seamless lyricism, witty bars and a quirky beat. Off-kilter instruments are audible behind the eclectic mix of spitters, and the funky double-bass and crisp drums keep the head nodding from start to finish. ‘Salute’ is a grittier cut, and the raw instrumental features an intermittent lead guitar, tight rhythm and smooth, silkily executed showmanship. The hook is great too; you can hear the different members in the background, and it makes the track feel so fun and organic.

The beats are varied, and the EP works so much better because of the mixture of styles on display. There’s an upbeat, funky undertone, but there’s a clear distinction between the four songs here. ‘Million Wattz’ takes a jazzier turn, and the intricate syllables and melodic flows make it a standout from the project. The unashamedly weird, left-field production on the appropriately titled ‘Space Junkin’ closes the EP out by sticking to the aforementioned melting pot of stylistic leanings. The Mancunian crew are also adept at switching their patterns and approaches to fit the vibe they’re partnering with, and it makes this concise EP an impressive little release.

Manchester’s thriving, energetic scene just keeps on delivering the goods, and Mothership Connection are a really dope group of spitters. Cheech, Dubbul O, Goshin and Legion bring quality verses over some first-class production from talented beatsmith Mankub, and lets hope ‘This Train Goes To Junkleberry Junction’ is only the start of the Mothership’s journey.

By Sam Bennett




Chuckz – theDemo (Review)

Chuckz, Reviews

Manchester rapper Chuckz recently released his second mixtape, ‘theDemo’ follows his debut project, entitled ‘Anti Rap’, which he put out last year. The production is chilled out and jazzy, and Chuckz’s laid-back flow, along with his down to earth approach make this a pretty enjoyable listen. 

theDemo gets underway with ‘Intro/Misled Youth’, this is a smooth track which sets the tone nicely for the rest of the project. Chuckz displays his relaxed flow over a piano laced instrumental produced by Michael Duglas. This is followed by ‘My Life’, which has a slightly minimalistic beat that allows Chuckz to spit with more intensity than the previous track, and Chuckz’s lyrics are on-topic and consistent, resulting in a really strong cut. It’s always a positive that on beats like this, the rapping takes the forefront, allowing you to really appreciate the bars themselves.

The oG $wank produced ‘Judge Me’ is one of the standouts on theDemo. This silky smooth piano line provides a really smokey, chilled out vibe and Chuckz’s flow is perfectly suited. There’s a weird synth line at the end of the track that it could have done without, but that being said, its definitely still got a lot of replay value. ‘Dust’ is another dope song, with a jazzy brass sample and hypnotic keys providing the backbone of the beat, and Chuckz sounds really confident on this one.

‘LSP’, ‘Knowledge Truths’ and ‘Go Ahead’ are all three more great tracks, but ‘Femme Bug’ is my favourite on the whole project. The head nodding instrumental, courtesy of Mankub, suits Chuckz’s tight flow, and this is a really solid tune. There are a couple of disappointing cuts however; ‘Sex Ed’ does show variety in beat choice, but Chuckz’s style lends itself so much more to the sample based production on most of the other tracks on theDemo. ‘Everyone’s A Critic’ shows Chuckz’s take on the more commercial side of UK hip hop, but it does sound a little out of place.

Overall, theDemo is a promising project. There are a good number of really good tracks on here, and Chuckz’s flow is always tight, and his down to earth attitude comes across well. There are a couple of slightly average tracks on theDemo, but the positives by far outweigh the negatives. He’s definitely one to watch out for.

By Sam Bennett