Archive for September, 2016
Not many records have the capacity to lock me to my desk in complete concentration. I sat and watched the waveform fill out on soundcloud, bars turning from white to orange as six songs played through. Here we are though, I’m going through this Ôntreɪ record again and I can’t bring myself to do anything else because following the lyricism of these tracks in pure entertainment. It’s like a word puzzle played out in real time, tracking segues within meter and concept both while I gobble down bengal spice tea on a comfortable Sydney evening. Meanwhile, I spun through Melbourne last week and they’ve absolutely missed the memo. Winter’s over fellas, you need to pack that thing up and get on with Spring like the rest of us. We’re not here to talk about weather though, we’re here to here to admire the strange lyricism of this here fella. It’s jumpy and it’s hard to follow for moments and sometimes it’ll take three listens to figure out just why one sentence fed into the next but it’s fundamentally clever, if nothing else. Speaking of clever, getting Godriguez on board for your production? Yep, that’s a clevbot220.
Godriguez aka The 6 Point Producer aka The Sonic Smorgasbord aka The Lord Mayor Of Cashton – yeah that Godriguez who funneled all that beat goo under Sampa The Great’s joints – came on board for this whole EP and it’s turned out to be a pivotal part of the record. Kudos to Ôntreɪ for knowing what to do himself and what demands a different skill set because his choice of producer may well have made this release. It gets fairly minimal on tracks like ‘Ô shi’ but others like ‘Insensate’ are chunkier, full of guitar licks, samples and crunchy percussive cuts. He’s willing to let songs dissolve into standalone piano breaks and guitar lines and it means the record feels less like a ‘send-me-six-beats-I-can-rap-over’ release and more of a collaborative EP.
There’s been much talk about a new wave of Australian hip-hop and for the most part, it’s being delivered immaculately by artists like Sampa, Baro, L-Fresh and Marcus. It’s informed, it’s aware and it’s characterized by culturally important commentary channeled through culturally important voices. This certainly isn’t that, but it’s a record that serves a different purpose. It’s weird and new and it’s spectacular in its mayhem.