Friday 18 December 2020

EP Review - Friends In High Places Vol. 1 - The Cabin Fever EP by Carpetface


Friends In High Places Vol. 1

The Cabin Fever EP




As you will know from my previous reviews for Carpetface, he currently involved in a number of projects. The latest of those to be released is The Cabin Fever EP.

Here he is joined by French producer Djar One, who produced and provided cuts for the project, to bring you the first in the “Friends in High Places” EP series. This first EP in the series is a brutally honest look at life in lockdown, from the viewpoint of a single father who is struggling to keep it together whilst missing the fun times and the funerals of friends and loved ones, all the time stuck in an isolated cabin.

Although the focus is such a painful subject-matter, there is plenty of innuendo-laden London slang and kind of tongue-twisting lyrical dexterity, filthy mockery, and pure Hip Hop guts you have come to feel deeply from Carpetface. The end result promises to be a deceptively enjoyable experience on a true to life rollercoaster.


So, let me take you track by track through this EP and with a total of seven tracks and two bonus remixes, this is more of a mini album…

It’s to open the cabin door and to immerse yourself in Cabin Fever and you are immediately up to your neck in jazzy loops, funky scratching and what at first glance is a light-hearted vibe, and to a point it is but, on a deeper note this track is like an over view of what goes on in the mind when you are being made to stay in one place not truly knowing what’s happening beyond those four walls and with your only outlet is to jot it all down or lose it. The boom bap beats hit hard on Bat Soup, a heavy track that takes you into the nightmare world and here Carpetface expertly draws you into that nightmare dream world but, in a way, you can nod ya head to while soaking up the visions of real world and the dream world and not knowing which is which until he wakes.

If you were feeling uneasy from the last track, then Secret Formula draws you deeper into that strange unreal dream world with funky beats and an almost nightmarish jazzy piano to tug at your frayed nerves, and as such this one is unrelenting and very much in-your-face with Carpetface and Djar One dragging you deeper into a surreal world that further muddies the water of what is reality. With the waters muddied we travel deep into the subject of racism with Def Definition (No One Can Breathe), As soon as the melodic jazzy intro starts you get an immediate feel for what this track is focused on and as you are about to drift away, you’re brought back to reality by the voice of former US President Trump and his outrageous ‘This is a great day’ speech regarding the death of George Floyd. Djar One’s beat hits and we get this hit of Hip Hop on the Jazz tip. The sort of beat that puts you in a chilled state of mind that will easily make you more receptive to the lyrical message you are about to receive, Racism, hate crimes and the inexcusable treatment of minorities the world over, how so many have failed to understand the true meaning behind movements such as Black Lives Matter and the failure of governments to address, suitably acknowledge the situation and even attempt to begin to redress the balance.

Angering Management (Raid Mix) sees Djar One bringing a slick head nod beat over a weird electronic type loop that has your head feeling like you’re having marbles poured over your brain from the inside out, cap that off with Carpetface’s relentless flow that hits hard against those elitist people and groups, their sickening behaviour and how they see and treat the working classes, the unemployed, the unemployable and the sick and this one will leave you questioning everything, if weren’t already. From the anger of the previous track, we slide into a chilled jazzy vibe on PEN=SWORD. The sung into has you wondering what’s to come but, fear not Carpetface drops some slick vocals that minds you the Pen is far for of a potent weapon than any sword. A person wielding a sword can wound, maim, kill, or chose to be the lenient one but, the person wielding the pen cannot only be the difference between life and death but, they can command nations, bring suffering or relief to thousands, or choose to entertain and inform the masses. The pen can turn brother against brother or bring peace to the entire planet. How you use the pen will dictate how history will remember you. The final track of the EP Done & Dusted (Fuck 2020), brings a far more light-hearted musical vibe with a slight sleighbell infusion that will have nodding and even swaying along but, the message here is still as hard and poignant then everything that has gone before and sums up this year perfectly. What more can you say?

There are also two remixes here for your listening pleasure. The first remix is the Angering Management (Empty Club Mix) and this one ups the pace and see’s Djar One adding that kinda vibe that makes you wanna bounce to this as Carpetface’s message seeps into your unconscious.

The second is Secret Formula (Zoot Remix) which chills out the musical vibe of the original with Djar One switching it up with Jazzy sax vibe and thins really adds another element as you can kick back, close your eyes, and really visualize the message here in.

So, overall, The Cabin Fever Ep perfectly encapsulates the experience of being locked down under a veil of fear. Regardless of your thoughts on the origins of the pandemic and how various governments have handled that situation and the other situations that have arisen during these times, the feeling of being told you cannot leave your own home and see loved ones, friends and so on has been a truly surreal and mentally challenging time for us all.

Over those times of lock down and pandemic restrictions we have seen so much happen from the ridiculous panic buying situations to racism and the suffering and loss of those we loved. As a father I  truly understand the emotions contained within this release. The pandemic has separated our household from loved ones, and we have experienced the loss of friends and those closest to us.

What is a key aspect of this release is that The Cabin Fever EP shows Carpetface has true understanding of the effect the events of this year has had on the mental health of everyone? Whilst it has been awful to see the pain, suffering and death of those to the virus, it has been equally, if not more so, to understand the secret pain people have been through whilst being unable to access services and people who are important to their survival and it has added a depth of pain to many when those in pain have chosen to leave this world.

The Cabin Fever EP is an entertaining and bleak look at 2020. Not your average listening material but, then 2020 has not been your average year and sometimes we need to take a long hard look at the world and people around us. Everyone has had it tough this year, some more than others and what I see Carpetface brings us on this EP is something that everyone can relate to on some level and asks us to look back at the year and the challenges we have all faced and then, as we walk forward, to never forget these times but, to use these experiences to make the future a brighter place for everyone, especially those who find it hard to open up, only together can we achieve this.

Djar One’s production and cuts really provide the perfect back drop for Carpetface. There are times that musically he matches the exact tone of what Carpetface is putting across verbally, while at other times he creates a musical sound scape that is almost a complete juxtaposition to the dark brooding lyrical content. These two always work so well together and complementing each other’s style with aplomb.  

Also, a shout needs to go out to #Jrt for the nightmarish cover art which must surely match the dark visions created by struggles created during 2020.


The Cabin Fever EP is out now on NEWBIAS /Beats House Records.

Check the Bandcamp link below to get your copy the The Cabin Fever EP and all links to connect with Carpetface and Djar One.

On that Note,

I’m outta here, Peace…


Bandcamp Download Link: