Skip to main content

Featured Post

Jorge Velez - Roman Birds Music Album Reviews

Inspired by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, this five-track ambient wonder finds the New York producer letting pulses and motifs overlap until the tracks resemble the inside of a lava lamp.
Jorge Velez has long been prolific, but that’s been especially true in the past few years. Like many underground electronic musicians, the New York producer has taken advantage of the internet’s self-publishing opportunities—in particular, the direct-to-fans platform Bandcamp—to sidestep label gatekeepers, streaming services, and crowded retailers. (Velez’s Bandcamp page currently numbers 26 releases.) Velez first gained recognition a dozen years ago with blippy disco derivatives for labels like Italians Do It Better, but his output has gradually become more esoteric and inward-looking. He’s still capable of ebullient club tracks, as last year’s excellent Forza attests, but many of his long, undulating machine jams sound like late-night missives to himself.



Jesse James Solomon - Strata EP Music Album Reviews

Jesse James Solomon - Strata EP Music Album Reviews
Named after an architectural icon looming over South East London, the rapper’s six-track EP offers a detailed account of life at the building’s base.

The strip of South East London called Elephant & Castle, home to the reclusive poet-rapper Jesse James Solomon, has completely transformed in recent years, and nothing better symbolizes the area’s gentrification than the Strata building. It is a looming figure, shaped like a beard trimmer, whose three eerily glowing, famously defunct wind turbines positioned at its head peer over local housing estates, hyper-visible for anyone living nearby to see.

Strata is painted on the artwork of Solomon’s new six-track EP, and it is also its namesake; its presence suggests the way the South London MC might have watched the building’s ascent from rain-soaked windows, leaf-pressed pavements, and soggy park benches as a teenager. His newest release is a flâneur’s account of unstable life at the building’s base. By sourcing symbolism from its architecture, he suggests Strata as a reliable structure of guiding permanence, like the lighthouse in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, and an ominous, all-seeing entity, like Sauron’s tall blinking eye in Lord of the Rings.

“Lionel Jesse” dives straight into tales of his past on the short introductory title track: “I see a young me, I see the moonlight on the pavement.” This sensitive allusion to way-back-when, to local life when the nearby Heygate estate still stood, housing thousands of people in its sprawling network of council flats—“Heygate was where that crane is”—is nothing new. For years, Solomon’s vividly penned memories have been the binding thread of his music, interwoven throughout his stories of young life in the neglected inner city. Throughout the new EP, the imagery of youth remains everywhere, poured out like hot wax over smoky UK hip-hop beats from soulful crate-digger Felix Joseph. Solomon looks back on playing team sports, hating the “frustration in his mother’s eyes,” and sitting on his push-bike, wrapped -up in a troubled love affair with his wintry ends.

He occasionally risks staring too hard into the rear-view mirror. It would be nice to know more about him now, after his rise to cult fame: References to Uber rides over the Thames and along the infamously hectic Walworth (“Woolie”) road, to smoking weed and reflecting on existence, to lines of coke and carelessly spilling champagne, provide a much-needed glimpse into his updated world. The fact he has dug into new caves of his consciousness shows precisely how he has grown since the buzz started to stir around his uniquely soft, piercing lyricism in 2015. His reputation is now cemented as a more philosophical affiliate of King Krule, Rejjie Snow, and Wiki—a legitimate power player among this roster of edgy transatlantic wordsmiths.

Strata’s sometimes overwhelmingly dense internal logic is thankfully simplified by patient, moody choruses from kadiata and ELIZA on “Under the Sun” and “Don’t Make Me,” respectively. The latter is an unprecedented conversation about love, and includes Solomon’s fleeting admission of being prepared to “leave the city for a weekend, if you like.” “Goat Talk,” sprinkled with muted ad-libs from man-of-the-moment Suspect, shows Solomon at his most confident and therefore purest. Less hampered by self-consciousness, he sounds happy to embark on a mission of braggadocio alongside the encouraging yelps of his friend and South London contemporary.

It is tempting to admire the emphasis on quality over quantity here. But after such a long wait, the EP should really be longer. It would also benefit from more of the rebellious energy displayed on last summer’s “Son of the Ends,” again with Suspect, or the pair’s recent hit “One Way,” featuring a verse from grime king Skepta. Going forward, if Solomon can counterweight his low-key, late-night reflections with more sparkle and experimentation, he will secure a stable seat aboard the current skyrocket of London’s rap scene. But within Strata’s modest framework, Solomon achieves what he sets out to do: jog people’s memories and offer an even more detailed roadmap for fans of his evolving introverse. You would be hard pressed to find a better lyricist in London. Surely an album is on the horizon? At least we have a clearer view ahead from the secure heights of Strata.

View the original article here


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Apple iPad Pro 2018 vs Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Apple’s latest iPad Pros are a very tempting purchase, but should you stick with the tried-and-tested Surface Pro from Microsoft? We help you decide which tablet to buy.
Should I Buy The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Or Apple iPad Pro 11in (2018)? Two very competent 2-in-1s, one running Windows 10, the other iOS 12. For many this difference alone will inform the final choice, but both are top-notch tablets. 

Huawei P Smart 2019 Review

Huawei has updated its budget Android phone for 2019. It’s faster and better than before, but should you buy it? Read our review to find out.
Should I Buy The Huawei P Smart 2019?
The P Smart 2019 is a great upgrade from the 2018 model with a bigger screen and better performance. However, as with the original P Smart, Honor's version is better value.

Oppo RX17 Pro Review

Though similar to the OnePlus 6T the Oppo RX17 Pro is very different thanks to the software. Here’s our full review
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
The RX17 Pro is a great looking phone with good performance and a lush display. But with a Snapdragon 710 rather than the better 845 it’s just impossible not to compare it to the OnePlus 6T which looks the same, has better software for the western market and, importantly, costs less.
If you like the look of Oppo’s interface though then there’s a lot to like. The two colour options are premium as is the build quality and the cameras are above average if not great.

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac Review

You probably know Synology for making NAS drives but the firm has also turned its hand to mesh networks. Here we review the MR2200ac.
Should I Buy The Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac?
Synology could do a little more to explain the many features of the MR2200ac for first-time users, but the strong performance of this mesh system, and the fine-control provided by its web browser interface make it a good option for business users or home users who have a little more experience of networking technology.

LG Gram 17 Review: Hands-on

LG’s Gram 17 was on display at CES 2019 and we got our hands on the ultra-thin, ultra-light device featuring a beautiful 17-inch display
Should I Buy The LG Gram 17?
The Gram 17 is an impressive bit of kit, but it is serving more of a niche audience than it perhaps appears.
A laptop with a display any bigger than 15 is perhaps approaching a point where it struggles to be called ‘portable’ due to it’s raw size. However, if that isn’t something that bothers you, the 17-inch display is fantastic for both working and watching your favourite films or series on.
Everything else aside the Gram is a beautiful, extremely light choice of laptop that manages to pack a lot of power and utility into an incredibly slim, slick package.

Like Fan Page