Wednesday 9 June 2021

Album Review: The Year After - Configa introducing DJ Views


“The Year After”

Configa Introducing DJ Views


Configa has to be one of THE go-to producers in Hip-Hop right now. His work on Arrested Development’s latest album Don’t Fight Your Demons and his own recent Configa Presents: The ConfigHasCrates has shown the quality and diversity of the work he is known for. Tracks from these albums have received some seriously heavy rotation and recognition as you might expect.

Our first sniff that he was dropping something else came in February this year when the Topic Of Discussion EP dropped which featured vocals from Ruste Juxx. This was the teaser to the forthcoming Configa Introducing DJ Views Album which finally dropped at the end of April and is titled The Year After. Now most of you will be familiar with Configa and his work but you are probably unfamiliar with DJ Views, hence why this album is Configa Introducing him.

DJ Views comes from Australia, a DJ of 22 years, he plays mostly Hip-Hop from the 80’s onwards. More recently he began producing beats using an Akai MPC-1 and Serato, then dropping a number of mixes and has emerged from relative obscurity to collaborate with the likes of Ruste Juxx, El Da Sensei and Sadat X to name just a few. In the six months prior to the release of the album he worked closely alongside Configa and with the help of some huge, featured artists has brought us The Year After, and let’s face it, after the year we’ve just had music is the antidote to most things.

That all being said, let’s step into The Year After and see what it brings…  

Dj Views is straight in at the deep end as he steps up with a huge soundtrack vibe consisting of cuts, keys, strings, movie dialogue and a proper head-nod beat. Featuring Termanology and the Apostles of Rhyme (Configa’s signed artists DA Donnieboy, Fro Magnum Man and Mic Audio), Mic Domination is all about the relationship of an emcee to his mic. Every emcee does their best to dominate when on the mic and with a host of similes, metaphors and impressive wordplay, this track displays that sentiment admirably. Configa is next up bringing a mix of piano, soulful vocals and a booming beat that surrounds you and demands your full attention. Now you’re focused, up steps Planet Asia, Pacewon and NINE to drop some heavy, hard-edged stories of the brutal truth of life on the streets where it’s Dangerous On The Ave.

The ball passes back to DJ Views who brings us an upbeat vibe full of cuts, drums, and guitar loops. Ruste Juxx features and takes us on a journey from the streets to the stage, where everything is high octane, gritty and most definitely On The Dot and will have you throwing your hands in the air. With the ball back in his court, Configa follows up with a laid-back beat which is full of horns and xylophone notes, alongside a soulful chorus. He enlists the help of Kxng Crooked, Speech (Arrested Development) and Sulpacio Jones to drop some knowledge on supporting those who are striving to make a name for themselves despite adversity, telling the listener I Want U 2 Make It and giving something back with advice and common sense.

The spotlight moves back to DJ Views who takes us to the launch pad with a pounding beat and some spacey electronic vibes. His cuts ignite the fuel, and we are blasted into orbit in the company of Melly-Mel (South Africa), Confucious, HaStyle and DA Donnieboy. With some impressive wordplay and Galactic Rap, the hyperdrive is engaged and we are launched into deep space and beyond to the astral plane, before landing back on Earth. As the focus shifts back to Configa, he is joined by Chino XL. The organ intro heralds a darker vibe which is mixed with more organ notes, vocals and a delicious head-nod beat which sets it up perfectly for Chino XL to deliver bars like a rapping AA-12 shotgun on full auto with a drum mag as he pounds your ears and leaves all suckers receiving a Funeral March.

Hip-Hop is an international scene and DJ Views, with the legendary Craig G, hits us with some boom-bap drums, cuts, strings, and big orchestral vibes creating the perfect scene for Craig G to drop some knowledge and to speak on the greatness he is crafting with DJ Views across Different Timezones. With there being so many aspects to Hip-Hop it’s back to Configa to bring some organ notes to a laid-back beat which creates a chilled vibe that is just right for Ras Kass, Melly-Mel and Akrobatik to drop some different views and experiences on what it is to Live Comfortably.

For our penultimate track from DJ Views he hits us with a multi-layered boom-bap beat with cuts, violins, drums and cymbals, which brings a focused edge to the track. That leads us to pay attention to El Da Sensei, John Robinson and Solemn Brigham, emcees doing what they do best, dropping bars and displaying an uncanny knack for Word Science, using all they have in their arsenal from words to personal experience and flipping similes and metaphors. The penultimate visit from Configa is a head-nod beat that mixes in some synth, which has a harpsichord sound. There are cuts along with a sung vocal sample in the chorus which creates a thoughtful vibe which sees 4-IZE, Jarmel Reece and Sky High 305, speak on the daily struggles in life, the kind of struggles that mess with your mind and mental health and sometimes sees you Slippin’.

The final track from DJ Views was the track that gave everyone a taster of what was to come, Topic Of Discussion. A heavy boom bap beat with layers of cuts, violin, and piano notes (which lighten the tone at times). Ruste Juxx features here and breaks it down on who he is, his experiences and the fact it’s all about the realness, no playin’. Configa rounds the album off with his take on the track that kicked it all off but with a twist. This Mic Domination Remix has a heavy piano vibe alongside some booming head-nod drums and gritty bass notes. The message is the same as the original, being the relationship between an emcee and his mic but, as the piano hauntingly tweaks at your nerves, Configa also mixes up the vocals as he brings in Smoke Gzus, Dell-P and the UK’s own Ken Masters to accompany Termanology and take this one to a whole new dimension.


Now, many will look at the line-up of guest features and immediately get hyped and admittedly those features are enough to make ANY Hip-Hop lover sit up and take note but, as a great album is not made by features alone, it is the depth and quality of the production which holds it all together and solidifies this project as a whole. Configa has created a superb platform here for an upcoming DJ/Producer, in DJ Views, to display exactly why Configa has put his trust in him in the first place. The way the album switches, track to track, between Configa and DJ Views, is a great vibe and allows for a perfect flow to the album. In fact, it’s like having two rollercoasters running parallel to each other and the listener is constantly switched from track to track, each complementing the other perfectly whilst having just enough subtle differences to keep things flowing and always keeping you guessing in exactly what to expect. The addition of the emcees brings additional twists and turns on our ride with every one of them, from the legendary figures to those less well known, all displaying the kind of lyrical prowess that shows exactly why they are here presented to us on this album.

This is some introduction to DJ Views who proves, without doubt, that he is capable of sitting alongside an acclaimed producer such as Configa and being able to take the reins that are passed to him and to keep the stage bouncing and on course for a whole new world of Hip-Hop possibilities. Configa demonstrates exactly WHY he is such a powerhouse in Hip-Hop production, creating soundscapes that excite the mind and body, while DJ Views shows us that not only does he know his Hip-Hop but that he is more than able to put that to good use in getting your heart and fist pumping and body moving.

Overall, this one is going to receive heavy rotation, no doubts, and deserves to be in your collection too. With every track keeping the listener pumped up for more, The Year After is truly an international slice of Hip-Hop GOLD, a rock-solid album that has a foot in both hemispheres of the globe and adds further weight to the fact that Hip-Hop music is universal and able to touch and unite all.

Configa Introducing DJ Views – The Year After is out now on Configa’s own imprint Configaration Records.

As for time, it’s time for me to be out,




Get the Album on Bandcamp Here:

Configaration Records on Bandcamp (links to social media):

Configa on Bandcamp (links to social media):

DJ Views on Bandcamp (links to social media):


On The Dot ft Ruste Juxx

Topic of Discussion ft Ruste Juxx (Configa Remix)

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