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UK Hip Hop: International
Steg G & The Freestyle Master - Universal (Powercut)
Powercut Productions
Powercut Productions
Longtime Scottish Hip Hop proponents Steg G and The Freestyle master from Sunny Govan have released their Universal EP, which features tracks from their previous LP 'The Journey' which originally dropped in 1998. Containing 5 vocal tracks and their respective instrumental tracks it is a fat release which gives you a good introduction to what these guys are about. Since the Freestyle Master's first release with Powermoove in 1993 he went on to drop two solo releases and is now hooked up with Steg G, the main beat impresario and general technician behind all of the Powercut releases so far. Steg G started the label around 1994 as it grew out of the Underground Street Tapes empire he had built.

The EP opens with Adrenaline, which production wise is on a bit of a Roots Manuva or Part 2 production vibe in that it is heavily influenced with reggae rhythms and makes use of many electronic sounds. For someone who has been rhyming for so long the Freestyle Master has a very soft / gentle voice which takes some getting used to, especially when this delivery is not what you would expect from a track called Adrenaline. Still I love the accent and this is what we need more of. More diversity of sound and timbre to widen horizons, rather than the same ol, same ol.

Next up is The Realm, which has received airplay on Disorda's Suspect Packages radio show on Itch FM. This one features the vocal talents of Gamma and has a heavier sound overall. Musically the beat is less complicated, break based and more straight up. The final vocal track on side A is Isolation, a deep thoughtful track in which the Freestyle displays how he can explore topics over Steg's beat which makes use of female sighs and echoed piano notes. Considering this tracks age it sounds surprisingly fresh now.

The B side opens with Dynamics a percussion heavy track that also makes use of acid type TR303 type basslines. For this the Freestyle Master uses a very simplistic old skool flow with no trickyness whatsoever, but it fits the track. The final vocal track before the EP is rounded up with the remaining instrumentals is Deepest Mystery in which the Freestyle asks the eternal questions like where do we come from and why are we here? This no fluffy subject matter. The beat too is nice with the utilisation of sampled guitars and bells to create a futuristic vibe suitable for the subject matter. 

The cover design is dark to fit the tracks and is by Noplex. Overall this record contains music that is a bit different from your run of the mill Hip Hop and could well tickle your fancy. Also still available from Powercut is most of the Freestyle Master and Damaged Goodz back catalogue. If you get the CD for this release it includes the video for Dynamics as well.

Contact  Powercut: Email: steg_g@hotmail.com or freestylemaster@hotmail.com
Visit Powercut the web:
www.powercutproductions.co.uk
PO Box 3810, Glasgow, GL46 8QY
Or tel: 07956 186 049

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