Saturday 27 November 2021

Single Review: Astral Plane by Kemetstry


Astral Plane




Astral Plane is the new single from Yorkshire emcee Kemetstry. It follows on from the release of the critically acclaimed single ‘No Respect, No Manners’, released in February, and is taken from his forthcoming Kemez The Atlantean EP.

Astral Plane is produced by Thugs Bunny who provides this sparse melodic beat over which are some eerie and kinda spaced out sounds which, when molded together, give this crazy mind-bending Lo-Fi sound. This provides this other worldly soundscape for Kemetstry who proceeds to take us deep to a place where alternate realities open up to us as our minds are opened up by the music.

On this ride to the other side there is nothing that is taboo. Subjects such as suppressed knowledge, ancient aliens and the spirit world are all laid out on the table for consideration and debate. It takes you places that many consider ridiculous, while many others may well have opened their minds to or even dipped their toes into. If you are open to these possibilities the only other subject would be how you choose to access them…

Kemetstry delivers in a deliberate manner, just as if you are sat across a table from him discussing these subjects in an open-minded way. This might seem like a dark place to go, talking on things you might feel are beyond scientific comprehension but, ask yourself, what does science truly know at this time and what might it study in the future as our understanding of the universe evolves.

There is no doubt that Kemetstry keeps his style well and truly rooted in true underground Hip Hop style with a laid-back flow that really draws you in and captivates you. There is also a deep intensity and knowledge base allowing him to speak on esoteric subjects and still hold your attention while making entertaining and great to listen to.

This is definitely one for your playlists.

Astral Plane is out now for your listening pleasure and remember to watch for the new Kemez The Atlantean EP, coming soon.

I’m outta Here,



Get Astral Plane on Bandcamp Here:

Kemetstry Merch:

Complete list of Kemetstry Links:


Astral Plane Official Video

Thursday 25 November 2021

Album Review: Inner Peace by Big Haz


Inner Peace


Big Haz


Inner Peace is the latest album from emcee Big Haz who resides in Melbourne Australia. As an emcee he has already had an interesting career. His first single ‘Chopper The Musical’ featured the notorious underworld figure Mark Brandon ‘Chopper’ Read in 2009. He followed this with his debut album ‘Larger Than Life’ in 2010 which featured a host of heavy features including Canibus, Masta Ace, King Tee and Chino XL to name a few.

With Inner Peace being his sophomore album, it also features a number of big name features in Canibus, Kool G Rap, Daz Dillinger, King Magnetic, Nysom and Kozme. The album originally dropped in November of 2020, so with that said the best thing for me to do is to take you through all sixteen tracks and give you my insight…

Straight out of the starting blocks you get the sense that this is all about the Hip Hop for this guy. The sound is this kinda laid-back beat with some synth notes that carry you along as Big Haz drops some intelligent and slick vocals that serves as deep introduction to just who he is and perfectly sets the standard for what is to come by detailing his journey to inner peace, which is something that will ultimately, as he says, Set Me Free

With the stage set Canibus joins us to drop the Inner Peace Prologue over a nice head nod drum beat with some piano notes. In this short intro we get the full force of Canibus and his complex verbal arsenal as he brings the focus to his wingman, Big Haz. From there, the beat stays proper head nod with some string notes forming the backdrop to Verbal Murder 2020. Here Biz Haz and Canibus treat us to more than five minutes of straight bars. There is no let up as both emcees unload clip after clip of lyrical hollow points that deliver hit after hit of technical and intelligent verbal mastery.

Hip Hop Stand Up is a boom bap style track with keyboards and a soulful chorus, that sees the first appearance of Kozme joining Big Haz. This one has that anthem sound as the emcees drop bars all about what it is to be Hip Hop and to rep for the music. Definitely one of those tracks that has energy you feel through you whole body. So, stand up, put your fist in the air and bounce to this. Next up, the beat gets heavier and the synth sounds bring this darker edge to proceedings. That sound is perfect as Hip Hop’s own mob boss, Kool G Rap faces off with Big Haz on The Mobster and The Scholar. As these two trade off, you first get the feeling of which is mightier, the Scholar’s pen or the Mobsters bullet but, as the track goes on you feel more and more that the strength is in their unity. The vibe switches to an upbeat mix of drums, violins, synths and cuts which gives you this uplifting feeling. Kozme and Big Haz bring focus the person you are and how good it feels when other believe in you but, ultimately the message here is that when you Believe In Yourself, you are unstoppable.

A soulful chorus and a mix of guitars, keyboards and a chilled out beat, brings a thoughtful and reflective vibe to Glad To Be Home. Here Big Haz and Kozme take a look at the tough times we’ve all had and the journeys that have led us to where we are now, looking to a brighter future. Something that always brings a lighter edge to things and makes even the darker days seem bright, is being thankful to have someone to come home to. Time to get into that funk vibe with mix of bass, guitars and drums that creates this upbeat block party, celebration kinda feel. Daz Dillinger and Big Haz look back at those who have paved the way in Hip Hop and have influenced generation after generation of artists and fans alike. This is Hip Hop, We Live Hip Hop and Ya Don’t Stop. Kozme is back on the next track which has a more laid-back beat, piano and soulful chorus. You get a deep personal vibe from the sound and that feeling is enhanced as the words detail the kinda things you like to say to those who are closest to you, your loved ones, children, and closest friends. The words that say to them I will Never Let You Down

Facing You, Facing Me has a deeper feeling. The piano, guitars and choral vocals mix with the lyrics of Big Haz to create this depth and strength that touches on something we all find hard to admit or to face up to. That is the fact that often what we see in others reflects a part of us we might not like. It is not until we stop and think, that we realise we are more similar than we would like to admit and perhaps then we can heal a certain part of us and take another step toward inner peace. That deep reflective vibe remains on Dark Room. The beat still has that head nod vibe with some guitars and soulful vocals mixed in. Kozme joins Big Haz once more for a look at the personal struggles we often go through, the type of struggles we keep to ourselves and don’t often show to others. To keep things bottled up can be self-destructive and the only way to break out of this cycle is to look deep within, only here can we find the true strength to push on and find our true selves.

Kingz Of The Grind hits with more modern trap kinda edge to it but, the keyboards and soulful chorus serves to soften that. Here we have King Magnetic and Nysom joining Big Haz on a track thar seems to focus on the daily work you have to put in to get by and to make ends meet. At times it is not always easy but, you keep going because there are those who rely on you and sometimes you just have to do it for you. The mood switches once more as the sound is more head nob but, on a laid-back vibe with piano and strings. It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul but, here Big Haz has something different for us. For Big Haz states that it is his lyrics that are the Windows To My Soul, mainly because of the depth of feeling that can be put into those words. The head nob vibe continues with some guitars and an echo sound that puts you in mind of being in a closed space, somewhere your thoughts and words are constantly thrown back at you. It is just like you are trapped in a nightmare, not knowing what is real and what is not. When you realise, I Can’t Sleep are you desperate for the solace of the light or the bliss of true sleep?

The album’s penultimate track is also it’s title track and the calming mix of drums, strings and keyboards still has that Hip Hop sound but, one that allows your mind to drift away. It’s all about that Inner Peace, a state of mind where ego no longer controls you and you find a blessing in every day. After a rollercoaster ride of an album what is the best way to end this album? Simple, with a head nod beat and Big Haz dropping the Soul Scriptures (142 Bars) of pure Hip-Hop lyrical fire. This is something like a freestyle where Big Haz demonstrates his technical lyricism and ability to switch between flows and styles with relative ease. Drawing on many aspects of his own personal journey, this one comes straight from the heart and shows the soul of Big Haz.


Inner Peace is almost like a personal life story put into rap with a Hip-Hop soundtrack. There is a lot here from the ups and downs of life to the enjoyment of dropping bars just for the sake of it. You can feel all the elements that Big Haz has put into this from the fun and the good times to the tough periods. You get a sense for the people who have touched his life long the way and have inspired him to be the person he is. The journey may not have been easy but, by the end you get this glimpse at where he is now and what his Inner Peace looks and sounds like.

There is little doubt that this albums sound is rooted in Hip Hop. There is a good mix of styles that are all rooted in the true sound of Hip Hop but, along the way we are also treated to other influences from some more soulful moods to other more modern styles. The production is all solid here and more that ably allows the sound and vibe of the album to flow from start to finish through all its ups, downs, twists and turns. Lyrically you feel that Big Haz has crafted a style all his own. He has a sound knowledge and a technical ability that would allow him to stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone. His use of deeply personal themes that don’t fail to touch you on a deep level are perfectly balanced by the use of tracks that detail his love for Hip Hop music and tracks that serve as a stage to display his lyrical prowess.

The high calibre of features take nothing away from Big Haz himself and simply serve as the icing on the cake of what is already an impressive free standing album in its own right. Check out the album artwork too from Kebo, which is incredible and sets the album off perfectly. With more in the works from Big Haz, including an album with Canibus, 2022 looks to be a good year for him and I’ll certainly be keeping tabs on him for sure.

Inner Peace is available now…

On that note,

See Ya…



Inner Peace streaming links Here:

Big Haz on YouTube:


Verbal Murder 2020 ft Canibus

The Mobster and The Scholar ft Kool G Rap

We Live Hip Hop ft Daz Dillinger

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Album Review: KURU by Flooded Hallways




Flooded Hallways


Flooded Hallways are the duo of Deeq (Lyrics) and Nemrot (production). Founded in 1996, Kuru is their first release for six years.

Deeq explained to me that the album was written and recorded during the hight of the lockdown over the course of 2-3 months. The album is the groups comment on the state that we have all found ourselves in as we do our best living on this little island, we call home.

When Deeq explained what the title of the album was all about, I found it interesting and so I thought I would drop his words here before I go into my take on the album.

'Kuru is a rare and fatal nervous system disease. Its highest prevalence occurred during the 1950s and 1960s among the Fore people in the highlands of New Guinea. The Fore people contracted the disease by performing cannibalism on corpses during funeral rituals.

The name kuru means “to shiver” or “trembling in fear.” The symptoms of the disease include muscle twitching and loss of coordination. Other symptoms include difficulty walking, involuntary movements, behavioural and mood changes, dementia, and difficulty eating. The latter can cause malnutrition. Kuru has no known cure. It’s usually fatal within one year of contraction.' - definition taken from

We feel like the whole eating your own thing symbolises what's happening in society at the minute with us (all races, sexes, creeds etc) being pitted against each other, destroying each other, and being brainwashed into thinking we're different, when we're not different at all.

This metaphor plus our experience of lockdown, was the inspiration for the album.


Now that you have a bit of insight into what the album is about, let me take you through the album and give you my own insight…

The Stage is set for what is to come with a head nod vibe created around some piano and drums. Illusionary Calm has a laid-back feel But, it pretty much mirrors what we have all been through in recent months. There has been so much fear and chaos, that any period of calm we experience in our day to day lives feels like an illusion and that every moment is spent wondering what is coming, just as you are wondering what is coming on this album and Deeq sets that out perfectly here. The boom bap vibe remains prevalent with heavy mix of drums, strings, and organ notes. Neuter Eunuch comes from a male or masculine stance and, for me at least, really seems to speak on those aspects of the self that we may not be proud of and as a result, especially when things are brought to our attention, we will suppress more that we need to. What is really needed is an acceptance of both sides of our nature, both masculine and feminine, and to be at peace with them. Therefore, creating balance within and so channelling our energy in new ways.

The sparce beat and keyboards of Painstiller creates a far more thought-provoking vibe. There is a feeling here of someone looking back on all the pain they have experienced, be it mental health, physical or emotional. Deeq evokes this vision that this could be anyone of us looking back at life and realising how far we have come and just being at peace with that. As your mind drifts there is a switch in mood with drums, guitar, and violin notes bringing back that head nod boom bap vibe. Numbers Game gets your mind going as Deeq brings mathematical terms to bear along with his normal poetical flow. This really makes you think about the universal language of mathematics and most things in life can be described in terms of being added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided. Does the fact that we are conscious beings, with feelings, mean that there is anything more to life…

Pounding drums and horns are the backdrop for Pink Spit, which has more of a story looking at what could be the darker side of human nature and choices that can be made as a result of following these paths. Deeq switches up the descriptive wordplay on this one which looks at a hitman who has completed his contract and, body in tow, to collect his payment for services rendered. The mood switches once more to a lighter more soulful vibe with the piano, vocal samples, and laid-back drums of Barefoot Contessa. Here Deeq takes on a far more personal trip looking at how he met his wife and their journey together, through ups and downs, across the last few years of their relationship. Being so personal you can really feel the depth in the lyrics here and it really makes you think about the special person in your own life.

Maybelle is an instrumental track from Nemrot. There is such a multi-layered feel to this with bass, strings, keyboards, vocal samples, and lots of drums. It really takes you on a ride through switching the pace and flow. There are times you feel you are just floating, while at other times you are wondering what’s gonna happen next. Some of the elements are just like a pause button mix and at the end of the day it’s proper head nod hip hop that takes you exactly where you wanna go. From that little pallet cleanser, we are drawn to look at a more darker side to the world we live in. Last Wound Kills is full of drums, strings and flute notes that brings this feel of looking into something that is kept in the shadows but, is all to apparent in the world around us. Deeq does a great job of bringing a poetic focus to those who chose, through their darker nature, to engage in acts of sadism and such like. What is troubling about subjects like this is that people still do it and that they also keep a secret, even from those closest to them and what does that say about the society we live in…

As we move into the final quarter of the album Nemrot gives us a head nod beat full of piano, sax, and flute notes to get us moving. As it gets us moving the story becomes moving in itself, as Deeq takes us through a personal look at his younger life on Scandinavian Wine. There is this sense of loss and how being the one lelt behind can so affect your mental health. You also get this feeling of how hard it is to heal the scars that are always here. But it’s not always about healing the scars but, using them to as a marking for how far you have come on your journey. The title here comes from the feeling of bitterness, just like the bitter taste of wine from the harsh Scandinavian climate. The final track of the album brings a thought-provoking air of drums and flute. This Death is a slightly light-hearted look at death. The focus might simply be looking at death and the fact that things will be ok in the end but, there is something else, if you read between the lines, you can look at it another way and know that we can also live through a symbolic death and be reborn as we turn our lives around.


As you might expect with an album that was conceived, written, and recorded at the high of some of the strangest times we have all experienced, there is a lot of stuff here that comes with dark undertones and rightly so, you cannot reflect on those times and what anyone was feeling without reflecting the pain and the effect it had on our mental health. However, there is also enough of the positive vibes to balance it all out.

Deeq does a great job lyrically with, at times, some fairly complex imagery to give us exactly the right focus for the message he is putting across, while at other times the pace and thoughtful nature of his lyrics comes across in such a way as to keep you guessing. But he takes some deep topics and some very personal stories and delivers them to you in such a poetic way that, at times, even the dark nature of the subject matter is eclipsed by his lyrical prowess.

Nemrot delivers some emotive soundscapes that keep the whole album flowing perfectly through is emotional twists and turns. It is obvious that the production has its roots in that boom bap Hip Hop sound but, also has an up-to-date edge that draws plenty of inspiration from other musical genres to create exactly the mood needed at any one time. I liked the use of the samples of the children at bedtime quizzing the parent. Their fears and thoughts worked so well with the whole vibe of the album and gave it a deeper little edge that just touched you enough, on an unconscious level, to make you feel it on a personal level.

Overall, I would say that Flooded Hallways have done an exceptional job with KURU. Not only have they brought the thoughts and feelings of those lockdown times out of the mind and into musical form but, they have added this metaphoric relationship with the title of the album that makes us take a second look at every aspect of society and questioning what is really going on. So, you might be left with more questions than answers but, is that such a bad thing, because you can simply listen to the album again and get a different angle on it all and it makes you wonder who is feeding on who and what is the truth behind it all…

KURU is out now…

I’m outta here,



Get your copy of KURU from Bandcamp Here:


Painstiller Official Video

Friday 19 November 2021

Single Review: Without Music (ft Micall Parknsun & Specifik) / Labels Smoove mix 7" Edit by Whirlwind D


Without Music (ft Micall Parknsun) / Labels (Smoove RMX 7” Edit)


Whirlwind D


There is no doubt that the last couple of years have been the most surreal period that most of us have ever experienced. What is has shown us is that music, that we listen to and that which is inside us, will never stop and will always be there and will evolve to suit the situation.

Back in April this year we were given our first hint at the forthcoming single from Whirlwind D with the release of the Labels Smoove Remix. Originally slated for a summer release, delays hit causing the release to be pushed back but, now that time is finally upon us, and those slices of wax should soon be dropping on doormats…

Without Music is most definitely on that feel good uplifting vibe as production comes from Djar One who brings us this blistering mix of funky horns, soulful vocal samples, and a proper head nod beat. There is not a better backdrop for Whirlwind D and Micall Parknsun to bring us their own personal stories on what the music means to them and how it has always been the shining light through all those dark times. You can really feel those heartfelt words as both emcees open up to us, and in doing that, they allow us to look deep inside ourselves and to recall all those fond memories of the times music has uplifted us in the times we most needed it. For me, music has always been a healing force, regardless of the genre you chose to listen to, and this track really sums up that healing influence that music has on us regardless of what is happening around us. To polish this one of there is a good dose of cuts from Specifik to seal the deal on what has to be a contender for single of the year.

The Labels Smoove mix 7” Edit really continues that upbeat vibe but, in a different way. Here Smoove takes strings, horns, and drums to create something that has to be one of the biggest feel-good tracks of the year and certainly one of biggest I’ve heard in a while. It really gives a whole new dimension to DJar One’s original vibe and allows us to revisit Whirlwind D’s original message, where he takes us back to those moments which defined an era and a young Whirlwind D. The energy in this track will have you wanting to jump around like back in the day and will leave you with a huge smile on your face. If, like me, you loved the original Labels from 2018’s Beats, Bits and Bobs, then this one just your cup of tea. Seriously, Smoove really does have a knack when it comes to remixes. Once again Specifik provides the cuts on this one which has also received regular airplay on 6 Music, as did the original.


There is always something about how whirlwind D crafts his lyrics, they are always clear and flow to perfection. The content is always knowledgeable and delivered in a way that speaks to you on a deep level. In fact, there have been tracks like Without Music, such as Nothing Is Better and MDM for example, where he delivers something that touches you in a very deep way. I found that Without Music touched me deeply for many reasons and, if you really think about it, where would we be without music. Music helps us to remember that we are not alone in our feelings and helps to uplift us when we need it most, without music the world would be a sad place…

There has always been that element of togetherness or being a part of something, with what Whirlwind D does, especially in since teaming with Specifik and B-Line and, more recently, with DJar One (who has to be one of the premier European producers out there) there is a special relationship that really does click and has, over the last few years, produced some of the biggest Hip Hop tracks we have seen for some time on the UK scene and tracks that really are such a pleasure to listen to. It is also worth noting that bringing in the legendary Micall Parknsun on Without Music was just genius too.

Even the artwork from John Dyer has this deep element to it that seems to draw you in, especially once you have listed to the single and you look again. It might just be me but, have a look and see if you get the same feeling, that solitary speaker seems to say "where would you be without me..."

Without Music is released through B-Line Recordings/Hip Hop Be Bop but, by the time you read this it has already sold out at B-Line HQ so you will need to check some of the other links below to see if there are still some vinyl copies out there.

On that note,

I’m out,



Get the digital copy on Bandcamp Here:

Get you copy from Hip Hop Be Bop Here:

Get your copy from Suspekt Packages Here:

Get you copy from Juno Here:


Without Music Official Video

Thursday 18 November 2021

Special Double Single Review: AE Productions AE044 & AE045


AE Productions

Double Single Review

AE044 and AE045


Back in October I dropped a similar double header for the previous two AE Productions 45 drops and as these two new 45’s were also released together I decided to do the same again. So, sit back and enjoy…


AE044 – Sir Beans OBE

Part Of It ft KELZ / DEF - Defeat Evil Fools ft Zaeb Dust, Blaktrix & Medusa

Bristol Legend Sir Beans OBE (Parlour Talk, Undivided Attention & Transcript Carriers) has previously supplied beats for the Truck album and also turntables on The Aroma on AE Productions but, he now drops his first solo release.

The A side see’s Sir Beans joined by another Bristol legend in the form of KELZ for Part Of It. The sound here is a mix of drums, guitars and keyboards that has that classic Bristol, Sagittarius Sound System, Ruztic Records vibe. At times it feels like an urban industrial sound which merges in and out of an almost spaced-out sound alongside it.

That sound is the perfect back drop for KELZ to bring his no nonsense lyrical style, tinged with ragga elements, to bear on this track. Listening to this you get that feeling that what KELZ is saying here is that you gotta stand up for what you believe in, no matter what it is. It could be your stance on the state of current events, your feelings on what it is to be Hip Hop or anything you feel passionate about. Don’t just be a Part Of It by believing everything you are told! Always stand up for who you are and speak your truth.

This track oozes that Bristol vibe and sound which is encapsulated by Sir Beans production and KELZ knowledge and inimitable rap style. Whenever these guys work together, they put out Hip Hop that reeks of experience and a deep desire to entertain while bringing the truth to the people as only they know how…

The B side finds Zaeb Dust (The Enjinz), Blaktrix (Ruztik Records) and Madusa (Project Blowed, L.A.) join Sir Beans on DEF - Defeat Evil Fools. The soundscape here is a surreal mix of drums, horns, bells, and vocal samples that are mashed together by Sir Beans to create a sound that seems to ooze from the shadows to reach into your mind.

With that dark vibe established the vocal trio drop lines that seem to focus on not just shadowy people but also the shadowy side of people’s characters. The side of people and the very world around us that is seldom seen and not something many really believe in. It is always this darker side reality and of people themselves that is kept quiet. We all know the shadowy nature of governments and the like but, so often we do not realise that we might live next to a racist or a paedophile, because they are so good at hiding that part of their nature from us.

With slick vocals and individual styles these emcees bring a focus to the shadows and those that live there. These people who live by pulling a veil over everyone’s eyes are the fools and now its time to Defeat Evil Fools…



AE045 – Chrome Plus

Popcorn / Pieces will align


Now, most of you will know the legendary figure from Norwich that is Chrome (Def Tex) but, more recently he has put together something new in Chrome Plus. More of a Hip-Hop band, Chrome Plus is Chrome providing Rap, Tom Hanna on Bass, aCivillian on Guitar and SuperJB providing the Production and Cuts etc. So, what does this all add up to on this debut…

The A side, Popcorn features production from DJar One and SuperJB, who also provides the cuts, and brings us an upbeat funky feel-good vibe. Chrome brings his classic rapid-fire vocals which uplift you even more as he breaks it down about just what he and Chrome Plus are all about and what they are bringing to the party.

This is really one of those tracks where the music does all the talking. The mix of classic Hip-Hop production and live instruments is a delight to behold. It has to be said that the addition of live guitar and bass just adds an extra dimension to the music and makes you want to listen to it over and over, again and again, because it just pumps you up and get you moving.

Flipping over to the B side for Pieces will align, production comes from Steve Ebola and SuperJB. The mix of organ notes and drums, alongside the live guitar and bass brings the kinda sound you want to nod your head to but, also has this vibe that makes you want to listen…

Chrome turns slows his pace, ever so slightly, as he delivers a deeper message. That message seems to focus on the fractured nature of reality and life around us. In nearly every aspect of life, entertainment and music, there are many facets that don’t appear to fit. It is like for every piece of perfection there is an equal or opposite imperfection. But what if we could turn back the hands of time, find those imperfections and make it that all those Pieces will align



There is no doubt that AE Productions has, once again, delivered two mighty 7” releases for our listening pleasure. On one hand we have Sir Beans OBE delivering two heavy weight tracks that pound our minds into submission, whilst on the flip side Chrome Plus brings two equally heavy tracks that raise us up and have us bouncing around one minute, then have us nodding our heads in contemplation the next.

I’d like to say more by not saying too much again, here we have two not to be missed releases that show the high calibre and depth of the UK Hip Hop scene. AE Productions is truly dropping some of the cream of UK Hip Hop and Hip Hop that well and truly has its feet solidly in the roots or real Hip Hop music.

As always AE Productions brings us stunning releases with full colour artwork and more. AE044 features artwork from Nick Pointon and is mixed and mastered by Rola (Numskullz/Aroma). AE045 features design by Leon Nockolds while SuperJB handles mixing and mastering.

Both are released tomorrow on AE Productions.

I’m out,

See Ya,



Buy both from the AE Productions online shop Here:

Chrome on Bandcamp:

Sir Beans OBE on Bandcamp:

Wednesday 17 November 2021

EP Review: R.I.S.E. by Stephen Wallace



Reach Inside Self Evolve


Stephen Wallace


Way back in December of 2019 I reviewed Stephen’s debut EP Comin Thru. That EP was quite dark and, in places, brutal too. However, it was also a triumph in the face of adversity.

For the R.I.S.E EP Stephen is joined by Diamond Sire, who provides not only production and cuts for the EP but also mixed and mastered the whole thing. There are also features from Micky Swags, Eskar and Subtex.

So, just what has Mr Wallace cooked up for us over the last couple of years…

The EP kicks off with the EP’s title track R.I.S.E which has an eerie vibe courtesy of some pounding drums and synth sounds. Stephen’s raw and gritty vocals threaten to literally tear your soul apart, like Pinhead from Hellrazor. But this horrorcore style vibe that jumps out at you from the get-go seems to be deceptive as that first impression appears to be a mask that hides the lighter side, a side that speaks from the heart. The message here is really that, no matter what is going on around you, it is deep inside yourself that you will find the strength and resolve to push past the darkness and shine your inner light to the world around you.

Next up Stephen is joined by Micky Swags and Eskar on Monster, a track that takes you to a shadowy world on a mix of drums, piano and synth sounds. The shadows are the place where the monsters dwell. But it is not just in the shadows around us where we find the monsters, they also lurk inside of our shadow selves. There are times when we find we need to become something of a monster to survive or just to get by but, does that mean that we have to be evil or a negative force? Sometimes it means that you have to reflect to those around you the only thing they understand in order for you to rise above them.

A head nod backdrop of drums sampled sounds and slick cuts opens us up to what initially appears to be a simple track the centres around something we have all become so familiar with these past couple of years, Virus. Now, you might get the vibe that this track is all about a virus getting into your body but, it’s not as simple as that. What if the virus was the negative information, the fear, that was perpetrated by the media and powers that be? What if that negative information infected your mind, causing you to pass on those false expectations appearing real to others? Just think about it, these are just my thoughts as Stephen does invite me to pull it all apart in the track…

Thinking about what I just said about fear, the EP ends with Stephen and Subtex joining forces over a mind-bending mix of drums and keyboards. This sound seems to permeate your mind, body, and soul with realisations about that viral fear that is out there in the external world. Here it’s all about not allowing that external pressure in to Control The Fear but, for us to be the ones to be in control. We need to see the fear for what it truly is, the False Expectations Appearing Real, and not what it seems to be, the truth…


On the face of it the R.I.S.E EP appears to be this stark reflection of reality delivered in a horrorcore style vibe. Entertaining hip hop that delivers brutal cuts to you mind with the razor-sharp rusty tools wielded by those holding the mic as dark sinister vibes claw at your soul. However, what we may very well have here is cleaver case of musical and lyrical misdirection, where it appears to be one thing on the face of it but, in reality it is something very different.

It is easy to see the bleak nature of reality that surrounds us everyday within the soundscapes and coarse lyrical delivery but, the deeper enjoyment here is to feel the depth within Stephen’s lyrical content and understand how that directs us to the brighter days beyond what is forced upon us by the media every day. You may or may not agree on what is being fed to us everyday but, we can all agree that there is so much pain and suffering out there that we need music to direct us to better days and sometimes we need to see the reflections of darkness to be able to see the light.

Also, there is also a deep message here that our own personal experiences will often colour the way we deliver our message and that ultimately it will be our own desire to change that will help us to Reach Inside Self Evolve to become the best version of ourselves.

Everything about this flows so well. Stephen Wallace has a knack for delivering hard raw lyrics that are also intelligent and come from a heartfelt place with a desire to bring something a little different but, still with its root deeply in Hip Hop. Diamond Sire brings some deep Hip Hop soundscapes that perfectly reflect the intention in Stephen’s lyrics and allow a perfect flow across the EP from start to finish.

If you like your Hip Hop hard dark and with a twist, then R.I.S.E is most definitely one for you. Released through Powerlab Recordings, R.I.S.E is out now.

I’m out,



Get R.I.S.E on Bandcamp Here:

Friday 5 November 2021



Cyberphunk EP




Cylas is the new alias of Emcee/Producer Silas from Switzerland. Not only does he have a new name but, he is also bringing a new sound. It has been a couple of years since I last reviewed his 45 release, Against The Grain/Evil Dreams back in July of 2019.

When I saw that he was bringing something new to the table, I was really keen to hear what he had in store for us. When I noted that this new sound was going to be on a breakbeat, electropunk, cyberphunk vibe it piqued my interest even more as it is always good to have some new vibes to get my mind into.

With that said, clear you mind and let me take through the Cyberphunk EP


Now Monday’s have never been everyone’s favourite day, the start of a new working week is always a struggle. So, just imagine if one Bloody Fucking Monday (which feat. Steelyvibe) you awoke to carry on your same old routine but, unaware that your really in living in a cyber reality like the matrix. Somewhere you have no real control over your fate, just think about it as the huge sonic sounds and heavy beat create this mind-bending reality in your mind. Would that version of reality be a bad place? What about the hear and now imagine that Aliens look down on most of the people on earth as Idiots, do we really fit that label? As you ponder that, the soundscape here is a perfect head nod Hip Hop sound over which is a multi-layered electronic soundscape that moves like light through a fiberoptic cable. The high-octane, pulse pounding sound is reminiscent of some modern soundtracks. Just imagine the scene on earth if alien beings landed here and the chaos that might ensue, does the vibe of this track not fit perfectly…

Moving into the EP’s title track, the beat and electronic vibes are less frantic. This allows you to once more separate yourself from the reality you’re living in and drift back to that Cyberphunk space. Here it feels like you are hovering above this cyber reality and watching as everything around you happen at the speed of light. As your mind is drifting and conjuring up all sorts of visions the frequency shifts and huge sonic and electronic sounds shift your perception once more. Fireball Flingaz join you and, as the beat hits, this current cyber reality morphs into something new. Remark and Exile explain that in here the outside world has no control, you can speak your truths without fear but, the powers that be always seeks to control, everyone must Approach and Identify. The vibe is upbeat and infectious, and DJ Tones ensures that the outsiders are cut down to size. This is one version of cyber reality you won’t want to leave in a hurry, trust me…

Once more the reality shifts and we find ourselves introduced to a reality where there is No Good News. The backdrop beat pounds your mind into submission while the sonic electronic sounds stretch and bend you understanding of reality to the point where you just go with it. That is exactly what they want, they want you not to question this reality and just be under their control because the truth is that the news is not as bad as they would have you think? The EP ends with the Against The Grain (Cyber RMX) and here the beat pounds and the sonic vibes carry you through the fiberoptic cables and around the world at dizzying speeds. As you travel the original message that the Fireball Flingaz and Silas brought is catapulted into this new digital cyber era. Now, being yourself and going Against The Grain is something that can be seen by millions almost instantly and we have to learn new ways to constantly stand up for our truth, be individuals and not to be taken in by fear that is being perpetrated around us in the Cyberphunk era…


There is no doubt that the Cyberphunk EP is not Hip Hop however, it does seem to draw its inspiration from a wide range of sources from Hip Hop and electronic music to Punk, soundtrack, and other more modern music. The overall vibe created by Cylas is not one that you can easily pin to one genre as there seems to be elements of steampunk, cyberpunk, the matrix, and our current 3D reality, which all blend together and what it produces is this stunning sonic sound that is, quite honestly, a delight to listen to. The addition of Fireball Flingaz (Remark and Exile) and DJ Tones works so well on Approach & Identify and I am sure this one will find it’s way on to more than a few Hip Hop playlists.

It could be said that this sound is not for everybody, and it may well be that not everyone will like it on first listen but, I am sure that if you give it time it will grow on you. All the elements work so well together and the instrumental aspect of most of the EP gives so much scope for the listener to follow their own journey with Cylas having given you just enough direction before letting you go it alone. It is a refreshing sound that shows the talent of Cylas as a producer, and I’m fairly sure this will just be the start of many more to come.

I really don’t want to say too much more as I feel the music will do most of the talking. It is just worth mentioning that Bloody Fucking Monday is exclusive to the Bandcamp release, and the cover photography is by the very talented Beach Cams Man and features the equally talented Atilia Gig.

The Cyberphunk EP is out today on Giftklass Labor via Bandcamp with other streaming links to follow.

As always, on that note,

I’m out, See ya,



Grab your copy from Bandcamp Here:


Approach & Identify ft Fireball Flingaz and DJ Tones

Wednesday 3 November 2021

Single Review: Tales From The Darkside by MC Oliver Twist featuring Franky Roar and Specifik


Tales From The Darkside


MC Oliver Twist

Featuring Specifik and Franky Roar


It’s been a whole year and a bit since I reviewed the stunning single Malawi by MC Oliver Twist. I am pleased that he is back with Tales From The Darkside, a track that was released in time for Halloween this year and is one that might not make it on to his forthcoming album.

Before I get into the track proper, I have to just say one thing, if this track might not make it onto the album, then it promises to be some album. Tales from the Darkside has production from Franky Roar and features B-Line recordings Specifik on the cuts. This line-up alone screams quality before you even hear a single beat or bar.

MC Oliver Twist

Tales From The Darkside is, quite honestly, a single in its own rights and is one hell of a teaser for the upcoming album. Franky Roar cooks up this cauldron full of sound that is heavy on the pounding drums, has twist of eerie piano vibes and a sprinkling of other sounds throughout. Once mixed and blended you have this dark and strangely energy provoking sound that quite honestly is perfect for this time of year. MC Oliver Twist brings his lyrical prowess to the mix with some solid vocals that you can easily hear throughout. He brings this interesting blend of stark lyricism that at times touches scars of real world, while in the next second dropping lyrics for the sake of it just to entertain. His vocals come straight from the light side but, detail what it is to be in and return from the dark. Along the way the sound and verbal visons have your nerves fraying with each line but, just to ensure you are ready for the next onslaught, Specifik is there to remove those frayed ends with some cuts that are sharper and more deadly than a guillotine blade.

Franky Roar


What a cracking little trick this was to treat us to this on the cusp of Halloween. As the veil between this world and the next was so thin, we were treated to something that blurred the line between dark and light and at the same time dangled an invisible carrot in front of us and planting the seed of what is soon to come, out of the shadows and into the light.

If you’ve not heard this one yet, then do it now. If you don’t, I can’t promise what might happen to you in your dreams…

1, 2, Twist is coming for your hide….

3, 4, Just grab Tales From The Darkside…

I’m outta Here,



Grab your copy of the track here:

Tuesday 26 October 2021

Double Single review: AE Productions AE042 & AE043


 AE Productions Double Single Review

AE042 Breakdown by Mr Fantastic ft Teekay


AE043 Make It Happen (Mac McRaw RMX) by Ill Treats & Glad2Mecha ft Grand Puba


With AE Productions being one of the UK’s premier labels for releasing that gold standard Hip Hop, it was a pleasure to be sent the labels two brand new 45 releases for review. As they landed together, I decided to drop the two reviews in one for you, so I hope you enjoy…


AE042 Breakdown by Mr Fantastic ft Teekay (Dragon Fli Empire)


There is something about an AE Productions release that is so often linked to the core vibes of real Hip Hop music and Breakdown is exactly that.

Produced and scratched by the man behind AE Productions, Mr Fantastic, Breakdown comes at you with a funky head nod vibe that, on the face of it, seems quite simplistic but, the more the more it goes on, you get this multi-layered that includes Horns and cymbals under those wicked drums. It straight up gets you moving and feeling that positive energy that is infused throughout. 

Teekay (Dragon Fli Empire) from Calgary, Alberta, Canada seems the perfect choice for this track. His rhyme style and effortless flow fits so well here. You can hear every word as he breaks it down about what it is to be in Hip Hop music, how you do it, how it makes you feel and what it is to bring it to the people.

Overall, this one takes you back to those early years of Hip-Hop music, the energy, and that predominant feel-good factor that it was all about back then. This is one of those tracks that does not require too much brain power to enjoy, everything you need from this track, comes from the track, trust me…

To round it all off the cover graff artwork comes from another legendary Bristol figure, Turroe One, and speaking of legendary Bristol figures, Rola @ Khameleon 107 lends his talents to mixing the vocals and Mastering. This track is everything you want and then some.


AE043 Make It Happen (Mac McRaw RMX) by Ill Treats & Glad2Mecha ft Grand Puba


For this release AE Productions have a Mac McRaw remix of Make It Happen by Ill Treats and Glad2Mecha, which also features Grand Puba (Brand Nubian).

The original album version of the track, which you will find on the B-Side, came from Ill Treats and Glad2mecha’s 2019 album ‘The Return’. That original version was a chilled-out vibe mixing keyboards, bass and horns over laid-back drums. The track was all about putting your all into something, in this case their music, and doing what you can to the best of your ability to Make It Happen with something fresh and new which will bring enjoyment to the listeners and also help you to pay the bills, as we all need to do that. Lyrically it was a solid track and pairing Glad2Mecha with Grand Puba just polished off the track.

What Mac McRaw has done with his remix is to completely flip the vibe of the original while losing none of the original message. The remix has an upbeat and energetic feel that instantly makes you wanna nod ya head. Over this upbeat drum beat we get this multi-layered mix of horns and guitar vibes which really tweak the energy levels. We are also treated to a nice addition of some slick turntablism as well just to cap things off nicely.

The release is rounded off by cover design and layout from Mr Krum and mastering from Rola @ Khameleon 107.   

If you are one of those who like those fun facts, then an interesting side note here is that Brighton on the UK’s south coast, plays a big part behind the scenes, albeit historically.  Ill Treats (Arizona), Mac McRaw (France) and Mr Krum are all originally from Brighton. It is also where Mac McRaw met Ill Treats back in the day. Mr Krum and Mac McRaw are linked through being fellow Vinyl Veterans, the Ko Rok Two and, if you read my review of 30 Raw Ones, they also formed Cold Rock Stuff Records.


What I liked about both of these releases was the fact that they both have this overwhelming upbeat, energetic and feel-good vibe that really serves to uplift you and I really feel that kinda vibe is exactly what is needed in the world right now. So, huge props to AE Productions and all involved for bringing such a healthy dose of musical medicine to our ears.

Huge thanks to Mr Fantastic for sending these to me.

Both AE042 and AE043 are available now to stream and purchase from AE Productions.

On that note,

Let the good times roll,



Buy both copies from the AE Productions Website:

Both will also be available in Canada from Black Buffalo Records very soon:

Remember to search for both of these on iTunes and Spotify

Friday 22 October 2021

Single Review: Anything You Want by Crease Featuring Chrome and Specifik


Anything You Want



Featuring Chrome and Specifik


It’s been a couple of years since we last had a 45 release from B-Line Recordings. So, it is good to have something new to spin from one of the UK's premier Hip Hop labels.

Anything You Want see’s the B-Line posse in full ‘MFing’ effect with Crease (Outkasts) on production and enlisting the services of Chrome on vocals and B-Line’s supremo Specifik on the cuts. With a line-up like this you know it’s gonna go-off bigtime.

Crease brings us this huge multi-layered sound scape of organ notes, piano, guitars, and a perfect head nod drum beat. He mixes this all up to produce what is not just a stonking club banger but, also has that kind of upbeat feel-good vibe we all need right now. In fact, this one is so full of energy and great vibes it’s proper infectious. Chrome adds to that infectious vibe with his incredible flow and turn of pace. He straight up explains and demonstrates exactly why he is the perfect fit for this track as he keeps you hanging on every word. Alongside this Specifik provides cuts that are both razor sharp and at times just like a hot knife through butter.

The entertainment value of Anything You Want is pretty much off the scales. Not only that but, it has to be one of the most uplifting tracks that I’ve heard in a while. As I listened to this I began to read between the lines, feel between the beats and touch the tip of each diamond needle, and there seemed to be this deep desire behind everything to create something special. You can feel that this is Hip Hop from the heart, and what Crease has done here is to take his own passionate vision and to bring in two of his fellow B-Line artists to bring it to life. So, you have three people who are all about the true essence of what it means to be Hip Hop and to unashamedly bring that essence and that passion to the listener in the best way possible.

As you listen you can literally feel the energy being pulled from deep inside, you feel it rising and with that, there is a desire to move, to bounce along or to move in some way, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. So be careful if you’re in your car! Because this one has such energy, it a prime track to get the Breakers rocking. It really is one for the real Hip Hop heads that touches so many of the true elements of what Hip Hop is and what it means…

Add to all that the cracking artwork from Cheo, design from Digital Dyer, mixing and mastering from Rola and the on-going collaboration with Hip Hop Be Bop and this one becomes the total package. Not just one you want but, one you need. Get this in your life and get Anything You Want

Huge thanks to Specifik for sending this one over.

Out today on Limited Eco Friendy Vinyl from B-Line Recordings and Hip Hop Be Bop.

Boom and I’m out,



Get your copy from Hip Hop Be Bop Here:

Monday 11 October 2021

EP Review: Branches Of The Same Tree by The Black Mavericks Produced by Pandamonium


Branches of the Same Tree


Black Mavericks

Produced by Pandamonium


Branches of the Same Tree is the new EP from The Black Mavericks which is also produced, mixed, scratched etc by the UK’s Pandamonium, who also provides the artwork too.

Now regular visitors to this blog will be very familiar with my reviews for Pandamonium but, you might not be so familiar with The Black Mavericks. A duo from the US consisting of Tobias Black (Chicago, Il) and 1.To.Dial (Charlotte, NC), The Black Mavericks are heavily influenced by the ‘Golden Age’ of Hip Hop. They also work extensively with file sharing services to create and record their music. This collaboration with Pandamunium (Exeter, UK) has already spawned two singles, Ah Yeah and Highland Games.

If you have caught the two singles then you will have a good idea of what to expect from this EP but, with that said, let me take you through the EP from top to bottom and give you my humble thoughts…

The EP’s intro is an upbeat vibe of big beats and big string notes that you can feel in every fibre of your body. Now this might just be giving you that Y’All Ready (Intro) but, more than that is setting up the vibe for what is to come, and it does that in typical Pandamonium style.

As we get into the EP proper it kicks off with the first single Ah Yeah! A straight up party vibe full of Drums, piano and xylophone notes, that see’s Pandamonium getting you up out your seats and your body moving. That party vibe is the perfect stage for The Black Mavericks to step up with a classic call and response style track where they introduce themselves, let you know what they are all about and what they came here for Ah Yeah! The mood becomes a bit more reflective with a chilled out beat and a heavy banjo sample. The guys focus on those times people are not thinking before they act and ending up in situations that are not what they intended. The message is simple just Slow Ya Roll and think before doing something or you will end up with someone slowing you down instead.

Next, we head into the head-nod drums and electronic synth vibes of the EP’s second single, Highland Games. This posse cut style track see’s The Black Mavericks joined by Whichcraft, LS, Kwote and Reemo to drop some impressive bars. This is one of those tracks where each emcee drops it in their own style, knocking it out the park and getting those heads nodding, fists pumping and everyone jumping around to the pure Hip Hop energy, all fuelled by Pandamonium’s nitrous injection. From that high energy we slide into a jazzier vibe of drums and flute notes which is the EP’s title track and see’s Tobias Black and 1.To.Dial joined by Canadian emcee ES to drop a track that is rooted in Hip Hop. It makes you think that nearly 50 years ago a seed was planted that would give rise to a blossoming tree, one that we call Hip Hop. That tree continues to grow and flourish and all those emcees, DJ’s, Producers, breakers, graff writers and the fans of the true Hip Hop sound, together we are one thing and that is Branches of the Same Tree.

Now if you thought the EP was over, then you’re sadly mistaken as we have a couple of Bonus tracks quite comically introduced by Pandamonium himself. First up we are treated to a remix of The BLK MVKS Drop Cypher Bars appearance on the Dizzy Dustin and Pandamonium 40 emcee Drop Cypher. The remix has a laid-back jazz funk vibe and mixes up drums, keyboards and flute notes which carries the guys drop bars perfectly. Finally, and as Pandamonium says ‘Sod It’, we get one last bonus, the  Highland Games Remix. Here Pandamonium jazzes up the track with some horns and banging drums. This might have a different vibe from the original but, the effect is the same, you gotta get up for the get down…

So, overall, this EP gives you proper Hip Hop bang for your bucks. The ‘golden era’ Hip Hop influence on The Black Mavericks really shines here with slick lyrical delivery that easily hops between bringing you a message to ponder or just dropping some bars in a straight up party vibe for nothing more that the enjoyment of good Hip Hop. By mixing their vibe with Pandamonium’s signature jazz funk Hip Hop production it gives this EP an upbeat feel-good vibe that is hard not to get moving to, it’s kinda infectious.

The featured artists all prove they have the skills. I might not have been familiar with all those emcee’s who featured on Highland Games but, after that posse track, I will definitely be looking out for all of them. It was also good to hear ES here as well who has collaborated with Pandamonium before, and he always brings the dopeness.

I am looking forward to more from The Black Mavericks and more from them in collaboration with Pandamonium. I felt that infectious upbeat vibe that came through on the EP is the sort of sound that we need more of right now, just to balance things a bit, with all the deep personal music that is out there. It all has its place and touches us in different ways and having some of this feel-good music touches us and raises us up in different ways so, all credit to The Black Mavericks and Pandamonium for dropping Branches of the Same tree.

The EP drops tomorrow, 12th October, on Kamikazi Airlines Records so go grab it. There will also be some dope CD and T-Shirt packages so, what more do you want…

On that note, till next time,

Peace Out,



Get Branches of the Same Tree on Bandcamp:

Highland Games Single on Bandcamp:

Ah Yeah! Single on Bandcamp:

Pandamonium on Bandcamp:

The Black Mavericks on Instagram:

Pandamonium on Instagram:

Check Here for all The Black Mavericks Links:


Highland Games Official Video