Bisk – Gutter City (Review)

Bisk, Reviews

London MC Bisk is one of the most consistent and entertaining writers active right now. He’s been releasing a steady stream of quality projects, and ‘Gutter City’ is the latest in the ever-growing catalogue. Released through Radio Juicy, the eighteen-track album features Stinkin Slumrok, aptly credited on the front cover, featuring on five of the songs on here, alongside a selection of top drawer lyricists. If you’re familiar with Bisk’s work then you know that this is going to be good, if not then strap yourself in and turn up the dial.

‘Guttercitysh!t’ features Stinkin, and the looming, murky beat is comprised of pounding, lo-fi kicks and haunting sound effects. Bisk and Slummy both deliver verses packed with charisma and unorthodox swagger, and this LP is a memorable showcase of their dynamic flavours. ‘Wildcheese’ is a definite standout. The slow-moving cut features intense verses from Jack Danz and Slumrok; the eclectic styles on display are flawlessly balanced, and the production is impeccable too. Bisk’s skill is perhaps best exemplified over gritty, off-kilter production; a perfect example is the brilliant ‘Mynigga’. The track clocks in at under two-minutes, and the prolific, dexterous vocal is executed with an effortlessly mellow delivery.

‘Smoke’ is a track that has been doing the rounds on soundcloud, and from the moment the raw loop kicks in it’s easy to see why. Slumrok, Sniff, Danz and Bisk drop flawless verses laced with witty punchlines, and the melting pot of styles and accents results in a clear-cut highlight. Jack Danz once showcases again his penchant for cutting, hard-hitting quotables here; he spits “Modus operandi. We treat a rock of mandy like some popping candy”. I mean, come on. Bisk recruits Blah veteran Sly Moon for the jazzy ‘Coldsagfunk’. The reverb drenched snare and crisp hi-hats back the two lyricists as they spit with a silky demeanour and smooth flows on this classy track.

The glitchy ‘SwampaZe’ features West Yorkshire duo The NorthaZe, and this is a collaboration that was meant to happen. Bisk, Kosi Tides and Swish move seamlessly over the bouncy instrumental, and the leftfield approach makes this a brilliantly exuberant track that illustrates the wealth of talent on display. ‘Ere’ is a characteristically dark banger, and is a fantastic ending track (not including the outro ‘Uzi’); the sparse drums and screwface-inducing bassline are a winning formula, and Bisk’s menacing delivery is the final piece of the puzzle.

‘Gutter City’ is a cohesive body of work, and Bisk’s unique style is captivating for the duration. Dope collaborations and seamless production are key ingredients, and the standard of writing on display here is tremendously impressive. This isn’t a stroke of luck though; Bisk’s discography is packed to the brim with heavy releases, and if the recent past is anything to go by, there’ll probably be another banging project from Bisk online somewhere before you’ve finished reading this review.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.radiojuicy.com/album/gutter-city

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

Bisk – Free Morphine (The Interlude) (Review)

Bisk, Reviews

Blah Records continue their relentless spree of hard-hitting, unique hip-hop releases with this free download project from upcoming London rapper Bisk. ‘Free Morphine’ is an EP produced entirely by respected beatsmith Morriarchi, and it features appearances from Sheffield MC and frequent Blah collaborator Sniff, as well as UK veteran Lee Scott.

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The deep, gloomy sounds of ‘Samuraifly’ are a perfect reminder to Bisk’s style. His stream of consciousness lyricism is delivered in a gritty, precise manner, and his content is equally aggressive and witty. Bisk reminds me somewhat of Cracker Jon, in that he can move between topics so effortlessly; he’ll drop some unapologetically vulgar bar, or spit a braggadocios line, and follow it up with some intelligent analysis or self-deprecating observation in the same scheme. The slow-paced ‘Purplevalley’ is a smoked out, intoxicating cut which features Sheffield based MC Sniff, and the Bad-Taste Records representative joins Bisk on a crisp beat with some really dope change-ups.

‘Sonatine’, which features subtle backing vocals from Lee Scott, is a highlight; Bisk’s unorthodox, fluid flow is a joy to listen too, and Morriarchi’s mellow film-score esque instrumental provides a smooth, silky backing which gels with the calm vocal perfectly. ‘Free Morphine’ closes out with ‘Endcredits’, and this ending track is another slow moving, gloomy affair; Bisk’s hypnotic, tight flow and charismatic delivery sound dope over Morriarchi’s haunting production, and the chemistry evident across this seven track EP makes it a cohesive and thoroughly entertaining project.

To think that this EP is just acting as an ‘interlude’ between ‘Raw Shit’, which dropped earlier this year, and whatever Bisk and Blah Records have stashed to release next, is a scary prospect. Just how much dope music can the young artist have stocked up? 2016 is sure to be a big year for Bisk, and the independent powerhouse that is Blah is going from strength to strength, and they were never weak to begin with.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@BlahRecords

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.biskit.bandcamp.com

Bisk – Raw Shit (Review)

Bisk, Reviews

Blah Records continue to be one of the most relevant and consistent record labels in British rap music; Bisk brings us the latest release from the independent powerhouse, a seven track EP entitled ‘Raw Shit’, which includes production from Jack Danz, Reklews and Morriarchi and guest appearances from Lee Scott and Stinkin Slumrok.

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The sinister opener ‘Uno’ is a perfect introduction to Bisk’s gritty and charismatic style, laced with hard-hitting rhymes and gloomy outlook. ‘Swampfroot’, produced by Sam Zircon, follows, and the raw beat matches Bisk’s slow-paced, effective flow and slurred delivery. Bisk brings multisyllabics and a variety of rhythms to his rhyme schemes, which he always keeps tight in the pocket.

‘Runt’ features Lee Scott and Stinkin Slumrok, and is produced by Jack Danz; the instrumental absorbs you with it’s leftfield instrumentation, and the three Blah heads demonstrate why the camp commands the respect it does. ‘Glass Jaw’ is a standout; the majority of the ‘Raw Shit’ project sticks to a gloomier formula, but this cut takes a more traditional hip-hop direction, with the soulful bassline and crisp drums. Bisk’s lyrics tackle his vagrancy, his flaws and his day-to-day life, and his writing is laced with dope imagery and witty bars.

‘Lunatic’ is a simplistic, intense and hard-hitting track; Bisk comes through straight up bars over a restrained, smoky boom bap beat, courtesy of Sheffield MC/producer Sniff. Sometimes it’s the way you say stuff rather than the stuff itself that makes a banging rap song, and Bisk is an MC that possesses the capability to drop lines in a way that forces appreciation; on ‘Pimpfunk’ he spits ‘I lost my save so I started off a new game/I go sleep Batman and wake up Bruce Wayne’ and ‘thinking ’bout my troubled past/blowing on a big spliff laying in a bubble bath’; switching from introspective lyricism to unique humour in the space of two bars.

‘Raw Shit’ is a dope introductory project for a lyricist who is clearly going to enjoy a bright future under Blah Records. The label has specialised in slightly weird, raw rap music for the best part of a decade, and with a new generation of rappers like Bisk and Stinkin Slumrok in their ranks alongside veteran heads like Lee Scott, Salar others, they really do have all their bases covered.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@BlahRecords

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.blahrecords.com

Lee Scott, Trellion, Milkavelli & Sumgii – Cult Mountain (Review)

Lee Scott, Milkavelli, Reviews, Sumgii, Trellion

Blah Records godfather Lee Scott joins forces with Sheffield’s Trellion, of Bad Taste Records, Piff Gang’s Milkavelli and Sumgii, who is behind the swagged out, wavey beats heard on many PG and LDZ tunes, on this cult edition project, entitled ‘Cult Mountain’. Any longtime Blah head will know that Lee and Don Silk have worked together previously; both were members of the legendary Children of the Damned, back when Milkavelli was known as Monster Under The Bed, so to hear this reunion of two of the sharpest spitters this country has produced, with the addition of one of the most distinctive rappers coming out of the North and a truly exceptional producer is a real treat. 

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‘Cult Mountain’ starts off with ‘616’, and the spacious instrumental, bass heavy kick drum and swegged out lyrics (you know if you’re ’bout that life) combine to make an infectious piece of cocky, lazy hip hop. Milkavelli’s verse features a nice section where he reworks part of his verse from Piff Gang’s ‘Bionic’, and it works well in the new context; It’s clear from this opener that the three MC’s tones and styles of delivery are very well suited.

‘SMFDB’ instantly impressed when it was uploaded onto YouTube, and it’s a punchline heavy track, with Don Silk stating that ‘all these rappers getting sacked like they’re David Moyes’. Lee Scott is rated ‘on a scale of excellent to extraordinary’, and his stylistically unique and distinctive approach is emphatically effective, and his prolific output as of late is something to be respected.

The wonky instrumental of ‘Ay’ is a highlight; Sumgii’s style compliments the slow paced spitting perfectly, and Trellion’s menacing verse is heavy, as is Milkavelli’s cocky and technical multisyllabic ridden appearance. Trellion’s fellow Sheffield based, Bas Taste representative Sniff makes an impressive appearance on here, and if you’re not already aware of it, make sure to check their previous work together.

‘Cult Mountain’ is a dope little project. It’s on an ultra-exclusive steez, and I think the vinyl is sold out, so you better hurry to pre-order the tape versions. It’s packed with five cohesive and banging tracks, with three of the UK’s most talented MC’s coming together to produce a quality release. Get this while you still can.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@TinFoilFronts

@Trellion_Luna

@Milkavelli

@Sumgii

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://cultmountain616.bandcamp.com

Lee Scott – Tin Foil Fronts (Review)

Lee Scott, Reviews

Lee Scott is a founding member of legendary UK hip hop crew, Children of the Damned. Tin Foil Fronts is an album any fan of the scene has been eagerly awaiting. Lee has such a history of creating quality music, which always sounds so fresh amongst the other albums being released from his counterparts. 

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This is an album every UK hip hop fan has been looking forward to since rumours of its existence first started circulating. Lee Scott is such a prolific and forward thinking musician, it’s always very exciting to listen to a project from the Children of the Damned representative. Tin Foil Fronts is a dark exploration of Lee’s mind, with gritty hip hop beats and amazing verbal imagery making it impossible to switch off from this effortless display of how to rock a microphone and kill a beat.

Tracks like ‘GM Smooth’, which features lyrics such as ‘So here’s some random words to fill another bar’ as well as fantastically placed references and more abstract imagery and messages, are typical examples of Lee’s original style. It’s this command and exploitation of the English language that makes Lee Scott so well respected, and makes his music so unique and different. It’s great to hear Lee switch from gritty, boom bap tracks to songs such as ‘Yes He Did’. This features a more modern production style, and some weaving multi syllabics. With a flow that never strays off beat, it’s very pleasing to hear just how progressive this album is; this isn’t 16 tracks of the same dusty old 90s beat, this is simply some sick rap music.

‘Tunnel Deep’ has already been doing the rounds on YouTube, with a fantastic, vivid visual counterpart to the intense and mysterious track. Lee packs a punch with this track, and it still remains one of the standouts. However, the standout is ‘Puta’, it’s too good. Lee’s verse is fantastic, and it’s great to hear him team up with Don Silk, formerly known as Monster Under The Bed of COTD fame, and now rapping as part of Piff Gang, as well as two incredible spitters from Sheffield, Trellion & Sniff. This mean, slow paced hip hop is something Trelli & Sniff, as well as Lee himself specialise in, and this track is something else. The menacing beat, bars and flows represent underground hip hop at its core. Tin Foil Fronts is an album that anybody who prides themselves as a lyricist will appreciate from start to finish. Tracks like ‘Pie Eyed’ & ‘Goat Rap’ both see Lee Scott using some fantastic rhyme schemes, with so many internally connected syllables it makes it sound as if he’s simply gliding along the instrumentals. This album will hush anybody doubting Lee Scott’s ability as one of the best writers in UK hip hop.

Tin Foil Fronts is a fantastically crafted album, with a very unique sound and style throughout the entire LP. Lee Scott has always been a prolific rapper, with his back catalogue being packed full of gems and underground classics, and this album is yet another dope piece of work to add to that. Displaying incredible lyrical ability, as well as an expertly selected beat choice, this is a very dark hip hop album, but one that is sure to brighten the day of any fan of real lyricism.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@TinFoilFronts

http://www.blahrecords.com