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Verb T & Kashmere - Backhand Slap Talk / Technical Illness 2xLP [Low Life Records]
Verb T & Kashmere - Backhand Slap Talk / Technical Illness 2xLP [Low Life Records]
Tracklisting:
1. Straight Dirt
2. Mysterious Crane Technique
3. Permission To Board
4. Flight Of The Iguana
5. The Rulership Feat. Verb. T
6. The Aliens Are Coming
7. Ravenous Feat. Red
8. Stagger With Me
9. Take Control
10. Sound So Cool
11. Damn This Headache Feat. Braintax
12. The Jitters
Yeah, that is right, Low Life have done it again. This is a truly incredible release which has been put together in quite an innovative way. It is a complete LP with two different artists each providing half of the tracks. It is like two EPs stitched together. On the Vinyl version it is indeed two separate EPs, but for the CD version the tracks have been interleaved for a well thought out tracklisting. Whilst Kashmere brings his usual zany character filled interplanetary wordplay, Verb T is on a completely different vibe, being super chilled, laid back and thoughtful. This makes for a very interesting juxtaposition of styles and keeps a fresh feeling throughout the duration of the 12 heavy tracks. Both MCs are at the forefront of a new wave of class UK Hip Hop acts and bring a great deal of character and expression to their music, something which lets down many other wannabees.

Initially it is the Kashmere tracks that jump out at you as one might expect, but upon repeated plays the Verb T tracks sink in and you get to understand more of the appeal of this MC. The hypeness is started off with Kashmere on Straight Dirt an organ laced head nodder if there was ever a definition of such a track. Kashmere's flex is unique and with the pitch changes in his intonation his verbals really sound live.

In Stagger Verb T exposes a drunken state and in his humorous way details some zany experiences. Flight Of The Iguana has a bobbing bass line which drives it along and is perfectly quirky for Kashmere's fantasmagorical musings. Ravenous has a sparse guitar lick and simple beat which means the listener focuses more on the lyrics which are quite deep. This track also features one of the few guests - Red, who as any guest worth his salt tries to outshine Verbs and by stepping up the pace of his delivery he goes some way to doing this and makes a good impression.

Permission To Board is one of a couple of sex based tracks. Kashmere takes you on a journey into his fantasies and desires. Take Control starts off with a great educational vocal sample before the track drops. In his considered style Verbs takes his chance to give you his feelings on how people need to have ownership of their own destinies.

The other guest spot of the LP falls to Braintax, who gets to drop his verbals on Damn This Headache. This is the most bumping of the Verb T tacks and has a really catchy drum pattern and horn stab. Joey Brains experiments with a different flow, the pair both expressing sentiments everyone has experienced when your head is just banging.

Kashmere is a nutty fella, and The Aliens Are Coming would do nothing to keep him out of a nut house. Partly a brag rap, as Kashmere's steeze is, he flips it in a mental way as he asks to be taken to meet the leader of an alien invasion he is experiencing.

Sounds So Cool is just a relaxed laid back track that seeps into your brain and needs repeated plays. The electric organ arrangement fits well with the bass and the way the music progresses to a crescendo is wonderful. Verbs is undeniably understated, but at the same time he makes this style work for him and there isn't really anyone else at the moment who sounds like him, or has his subject matter.

The penultimate track, The Rulership sees both Kashmere and Verb T team up and go head to head. An impressive string opening gives this track a regal feeling and is obviously what is needed as both MCs go on to tell you why they are so great. Like Gangstarr were the Owners, Verbs and Kashmere are the rulers!

I don't really believe that this release can be faulted. It is heavy in the extreme and features two of the UK's best lyricists over beats from the country's foremost producers. Most of the LP is produced by Braintax who as always comes with the real bangers. But he is also developing his styles and for some time now we have not been able to tie him down to a particular style, each new production of his seemingly introducing new sounds, ideas and arrangements. This is a man at the top of his game. Although Kashmere is primarily ripping up the mic we should remember that his is an all rounder and provides the beats for one of his tracks - Mysterious Crane Technique. The remaining production for the last couple of Kashmere tracks - The Rulership, which features Verb T and The Aliens Are Coming is provided by Ghost, a relative newcomer to the game, but another producer who is at the top of his game and is producing some excellent sounds. These three create a coherent soundscape which is only rounded off with the classy cutting of Mr Thing whose credentials I'm sure you are all familiar with.

As a concept LP this set of tracks takes you to places other CDs don't and I can't commend this highly enough. I have been surprised by this releases low key reception, but I am sure it will be a slow burner with people still mentioning it in a years time.
 

Low Life Discography
Visit Low Life on the web: www.lowliferecords.co.uk :: Email: [email protected] 
 

 
Intro Early Doors:
1979-1985
False Dawn:
1985-1990
Underground Years:
1990-1995
The Renaissance:
1995- 2000
The Future:
2000 & Beyond
Artists &
Discographies

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