This guy has formerly been known as
The Groove Criminals and Twist as well as probably a whole load of other
monikers and has so far released more than half a dozen tunes. This time the East Anglian producer is coming out on the Aerosolik
Records label, which is strangely based in both Scarborough and Brighton. It is
their seventh release and this EP is five tracks deep. Hoodee has chosen to
leave his instrumental past and for four of the tracks has hooked up with a
variety of MCs, each one bringing a different quality to the beats.
The opening joint
F8 features the vocals of Ill Seer, a Canadian MC who is down with
Delegates Of Culture, he's got a more Aesop Rock type flow, and its more like
poetry on the mic, rather than straight up rapping. His delivery makes you believe
that he is saying something really profound and there is a great deal of detail
in the lyrics, but much of it is obscure or hidden in meaning and needs a bit of
work to get at the core of the meaning. At first I wasn't sure of the flow, but
after a few listens I'm getting more used to it. The track is quite long,
and within the duration there is enough time for Ill Seer's flows to rip the
track to shreds, but other times when it seems disconnected to the beat.
Production is sparse, featuring a persistent bass tone, slithering highs and
periodic high pitched wibbly synth. The main riff is however a mysterious piano
and a middle eastern snake charmer horn which repeats in the chorus.
The second track
Step To The Future features the tones of Oliver Twist who's crew is
Intelligent Madness and has been around for donkeys. He he is spitting over
again a simplistic and more percussion focused type backing which has severe
head nodding capabilities. The main element leading to this is the single bass
tone that is juxtaposed against a spacey sounding keyboard plop. There's some
sctratching on here too, curteosy of DJ Rapid.
The EP keeps improving track by track, and the pinnacle is the
Slug Life Anthem, which features Koaste of the 360 Physicals on the mic.
Koaste really gets busy with enthusiasm and energy as he paints a vivid picture of the life of an underground emcee in the UK; struggling to hold down the day job without losing the faith.
This guy has passion and desire resonating through his delivery which gives it
so much more dynamic and feeling which many MCs lack. Composition wise this is
an exemplary example of chopping up beats. Tasty orchestral samples of chello
riffs, flute hits make up the music, but it is the simple beat which has so much
swing it would be home in a playground that makes the track.
The final vocal track features, perhaps for the
first time on vinyl, T.S. One, a Cambridge resident who is more usually in the
Mantis Chapther. T.S One has what sounds to me a bit of an Old Skool UK flow,
but never the less, he and Hodee produce a well rounded offering.
N.E.O. elevates paranoia to intergalactic extremes, this one may leave you nervously watching the skies for days to come. Hoodee's minimal, unforgiving beats nicely underline the mood, helping us all to wind down a bit.
But to get the full effect of the bass you need a large set and to give the dial
a nudge upwads.
To round off the EP Hoodee drops his
Bonus Beats, two different instrumentals spliced together with particularly relevant
vocal snatches. Being Hoddee's own EP it would be surprising were there not some
pure beats on here, especially as there are no instrumental versions of the
vocal tracks. The second best is reminiscent of that Low Profile summer vibe
track - Keep Em Flowin, but correct me if I'm wrong. Nice anyway.
The cover by Mark MonkeyBoy Hooley is pretty cool too. Fitting in with the First
Contact theme, there is a variety of cartoon characters, aliens, dinosaurs etc.
getting down on the surface of another planet. The back sees dope illustrations
of each of the artists and the now obligatory string of logos. Overall there are
upsides and downsides to this record. Because of the variety there is bound to
be something on here for all, but maybe it is possible that heads won't feel all
the tracks. For me I felt the choruses could have been more different, and a
couple of the choices of sample seemed to be for ease and perhaps less obvious
replacements could enhance the beats. Never the less there is sufficient on here to recommend it, so go and check