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

Tuesday 5 October 2021

Album Review: Purgatory by Reken






UK emcee Reken was born and raised on the streets of Blackpool. Since becoming interested in all four elements of Hip Hop culture he has worked, almost tirelessly for the last five years representing his home city and dropping a string of hot releases of which Purgatory is the latest, released at the end of August this year.

The title suggests that this album will take us to a place where we are neither one place or the other, kinda like where society is right now. With that in mind and the fact that this album is some sixteen tracks deep, I’m gonna take you straight into it. So, lets take our first tentative steps into Purgatory together…

Heavy drums, bass and orchestral strings set the tone for Reken to introduce himself. He also gives us some background on his life and gives us a huge Welcome To Purgatory but, at the same time you begin to question this reality and ponder some important questions… Is Reken talking to us from Purgatory? Is he talking to us, who are the ones residing in this half-way place or are we all here together, looking for the answers that will carry us forward?

Just as you are wondering what to expect from the coming tracks, The Rock introduces the next track before a funk fulled vibe of drums and guitar hits your awareness and brings a thought-provoking feel with it. Reken takes a look at current state of society, its such a messed-up place where victims of crime and the poor suffer so much more than any perpetrator of a crime and the elite, those in power, become richer on the pain and tears of others. The more Reken makes you think, the more you ask, Why? With our questions left unanswered, for now, a nerve tingling piano and some melodic drums bring a darker edge as we slip into the dream world of Midnight Masquerades. This is place of nightmares that tear into your soul, mashing your mind to a pulp. You wake drenched in sweat and questioning how much of that was just a dream and how much was rooted in reality? The combination of drums and piano continue bringing a more reflective air. Here its about the memory of those moments that pushed you to you limits, made you wonder if you’d ever catch a break? But all those tough moments also give you a strength, a strength to go on and to say to yourself that you are Not Giving Up

It’s true that we won’t stay down for long and that is reflected with an uplifting beat of drums and keyboards. Reken is joined by Dog4ouse and seems to be telling us here that its all about finding faith in something, whatever works for you, that one thing that guides you back from those dark places. It is not easy but, you can Catch A Vibe in a place where the sun smiles on you once more. That uplifting vibe carries on with mix of heavy drums, electroninc notes and some soulful vocals. The message from Reken and Ben SOS is that now you are out of that dark place remember to take life one step and One Day At A Time. That road to recover is a twelve-step process, you can do it with dedication, support and a faith in that higher power. The light continues to shine upon us as we are accompanied by some laid-back drums and keyboard notes. The support we receive on out journey often comes from someone very Special and here we have a dedication to that person, that special individual who makes you both complete.

Strings, keyboards, and drums create a floaty vibe for us to drift away from the thoughts the past and the future. Here it is all about living in the moment. Those special moments when you are present in the Prescence of a higher power, an energy that helps you focus on what really matters and to be thankful for all that is. Bruva Smokes joins Reken over a beat full of guitars, keyboards and drums which switches up the energy levels more than a few notches with S W A T. The guys take aim at all the fakes and suckers out there as they bring the kinda bars that stop you in your tracks and drop the opposition to their knees. Next, we go from high energy to that head nod vibe of drums and guitar and an appearance from Karlow. This one takes us back to the days of having fun, when no one gave a damn and it was all about having a good time. So, tell me Do You Remember The Day?

Karlow keeps hold of his mic as he joins Reken to drop some Heat. The beat is a heavy mix of drums, horns, keyboards, and piano. The vibe is straight up battle rap and guys deliver it in a precise, clinical fashion as they execute their execution of the punks. This is heavy rap style just for the sake of it and if you think you can handle the repercussions, then step up! Now, no one ever said rap and Hip Hop was just one thing, one style, it can be an Abstract Art, and that abstract style is reflected here as we have a drum beat over which is a mariachi style guitar while Reken drops vocals with the air of battle rap thrown into the mix. Try listening to this one if you think all rap is the same. As you are musing over things the air around darks with the onset of some deep piano and drum vibes. You begin to question again, is this a look at a warped psychotic mind full of Resentment, is it showing us that there are times we need the darkness in order to truly see the light or are we taking a look at the destabilised mind that is the dark side of mental health…

The uplifiting vibe returns with some soulful vocals over drums and keyboards. The notion of faith is not something new on this album and on G.O.D. Reken looks deeper into what it is to find faith in a higher power, a belief that can be the catalyst for your positive self. It might not be an easy journey for anyone to make but, then life and the truth are not the easiest of things to experience but, they are ultimately fulfilling. From that idea of faith, we move to a harder vibe as horns, electronic notes and drums combine for a more modern trap style vibe. The message on this one is taking a look at those modern rappers who chose to promote violence and negativity to today’s youth. Reken shows that no matter what sound you chose, there is no need for Badmanism. The final track ends on a more contemplative air that comes from the piano and heavy but laid-back drums. The message here is that no matter what happens in your life, through all the ups and downs, there is Still Time Left to turn it around and make every moment count and that is the answer to all the questions and how we leave Purgatory.


There is something about albums that are self-produced that often adds an extra dimension to what you hear. Everything is from the self and comes from your heart and you can hear that and feel that with every beat and every bar on Purgatory.

There is so much to like here and both musically and lyrically it carries you along with something to appeal to everyone. It is easy to visualise what Reken is putting across with each track and there is a great balance of light and dark, just as there is with any journey we make and this one is no exception. You can feel the passion he has for what he does and what has helped him as he has walked his path. For Reken his belief in a higher power has brought through all the rough times to where he is now. While you yourself might not have a belief in a god as such, we all believe there is something that works for us, and it is having that faith that will carry us through the dark times.

Overall, I really enjoyed this album and the fact it was so easy to feel something with each track. The personal aspects that are built into this album allow you to feel that deeper aspect at all the right times and there is also that great balance of fun vibes and realness that allow the album to flow so well and speak to all of us. Add to that the stunning artwork from Matt Herbert (aka Junior Disprol) and this one has to be on your shelves.

As purgatory has been out for a few weeks now, a lot of you may have already heard it but, to those of you who have not, I highly recommend that you give this a listen at the very least as you won’t be disappointed.

My thanks and respect to Reken for sending this one over.

On that note,

I’m out,




Get Purgatory on Digital or CD on Bandcamp:


All streaming etc via this one Link:


Friday 1 October 2021

Album Review: The DEAD Wait by MUZ


The DEAD Wait




The Dead Wait is the album from MUZ (aka MZA, Mury P, Muzpopz & Mury Poppinz) who is no stranger to the game. The Wakefiled emcee is one half of No Pretence and a former member of Don’t Talk To Strangers among others. Along the way he has worked alongside the likes of Junior Disprol, Prince Po, Cage and Brutal Artistry to name but a few. After all this and a five-year break to become a father, he is back and ready to continue his musical evolution.

With a title like The DEAD Wait could it be that this album is all about the living dead? Well. The easiest way for me to answer that question is to take you on a journey through the album from top to bottom and give you my thoughts. So, let’s go…

The album kicks off with Erasure which mixes a nice head nod beat with a mariachi guitar vibe. You get the feeling that this track is like the narrative of a man sitting looking out at the world at what is happening around him. At the same time, he is wrestling with own internal struggles, especially with the knowledge of now being a father and how that relates to everything. The extended instrumental second half to this track is more relaxed and brings a reflective vibe which gives you the time to contemplate what he might be thinking but, it also allows you muse on your own situation in the grand scheme of things. The mood moves from one of contemplation to one that is more light-hearted created by the sparse drums and piano of Spit Blood. That musical vibe is almost a juxtaposition to the vocals, which appears to see MUZ taking on the zombie horde during the zombie apocalypse. However, this could also be a metaphor that sees MUZ seeking to awaken those who choose to blindly accept everything that is told to them by governments and so on, never questioning anything but, becoming zombie sheeple. So, in one instance you are taking out a zombie with a headshot but, when you flip it, you are awakening people with knowledge and truth through the medium of music and not with a bullet. Bells and a winding sound appear to be gearing us up for something, that something is Deep Time with a melodic beat mixed with bells, electronic vibes and vocal samples create a very mind-bending feel. This one seems to speak on the constraints of living within the 3D world. So many appear to be closed to the truth that they are almost dead to real reality that we live in. We all have to choose whether to be awake to the true reality and if we do choose to awaken then we have a further choice on which journey we take to be awake…

Next we drift into an eastern flavoured vibe of Bye Bye Kansas Pt 1 that has sparse drums and violin notes floating through it. There is also a darkness to this as appears to take place in a troubled mind, one that seeks to find solace as it navigates through a world ruled by fear. As he searches for the way he knows is there, it becomes hard to walk the true path as it becomes harder and harder to understand what is real and what is not? The undead themselves introduce us to the albums title track, The DEAD Wait. The beat is head nod and the mixture of synth sounds lift this to an almost light-heated feel as the human zombies once again take centre stage as a reflection of how most of society are looked upon as being. Those whom govern or control our countries and, to a point, our lives wish us only to remain subservient in a zomboid state where we do exactly what they want. The truth is that the dead do wait, wait to become awakened to the truth around them. The next track is a short skit, Addy Paddy R.I.P, which is in the form of comedic recording that features the nephew of MUZ and who the next track is dedicated too. A Cruel Eulogy has a relaxed beat with synth sounds and vocal samples which all blend to form a vibe that, rather strangely, carries you along. MUZ’s nephew Adam sadly took his own life and in dedicating this track to him MUZ takes the place of the loved who has crossed over. It is not easy to put yourself in this position and try and help people understand the struggles of that person in this fucked up world. That person fights every day, behind the mask of a smile, with demons we will never know. One day they reach that most overwhelming choice and choose a path that those of us left behind may never know, in making that choice they have committed no sin but, show a bravery unlike any other.

Bye Bye Kansas Pt 2 has the same musical vibe as Pt 1 as the journey of the lost soul continues. Even the intervention of external forces does not help and only serves to make his experience a more tortured one. Lies and false truths, fear and Negative aspects cause a catch 22 situation where the only outcome he can see is a bleak one. As you are wondering where you go from here the drums and xylophone notes whisk you off to a new view of earth on Five (6 4) 3. As the plant spins and floats through the cosmos, orbiting the sun, this new view asks if it could be that us minute humans who inhabit the planet are simply slaves? Are we all controlled in so way to help maintain someone else’s view of a status quo? We go about our lives occasionally looking toward the heavens and seeing all those stars burning bright But, we forget about our own true light that burns deep inside of us. All we need to do is to take a step away from the external fear and control, just close your eyes and focus, then remember who you truly are and the light inside you.

Ego Death (The After Party) begins with an acappella intro before a pounding beat drops, hitting like blows from a rubber sledgehammer that constantly bounce off you mind. Here we take a mind-expanding trip with someone who has circumvented their ego self by taking a concoction of drugs and far too many. This desire to expand the mind has worked in one way but, ultimately has led to them expanding their consciousness beyond the need for a physical body. A more modern type of vibe comes through on The Psychopathy Prophecy. The vibe is a bit darker and takes us on a deeper look at current pandemic, lockdown life, social distancing, and the touchy subject of those vaccines. What could it all mean as we walk forward into an uncertain future? Yes, this is a very dystopian view of could be in the future as subjects like nanotech are brought to bear. Could it really be that the future for us, our children and grandchildren will be one that is far bleaker and more controlled? I guess that is up to us…

The album ends with a bonus track Iron Sky, a truly funked up vibe full of bass, guitars, and drums. There is a deep but laid-back vibe here that gives you a feel of looking back at life, the struggles we have had and hurdles we have overcome along the way. There is also that ultimate view of what could truly be for us all as we continue on our life’s journey. We are in control of our futures, those silver linings and the light at the end of the tunnel, it can all be ours if we desire it enough, rise up and create our own personal reality…

You can probably guess that from what you have just read, that The DEAD Wait is a deep and sometimes dark look at what is happening in life around us every day. There is this unapologetic and no-nonsense approach to telling you how it is and focusing on subjects, like suicide, that so many consider to be an elephant in the room. MUZ handles everything extremely well, describing everything in a way that is both enjoyable and thought provoking.

In the run up to the album launch MUZ has released some videos that help you to understand the story behind each track. Please bear in mind that I made my note before those were released and so what you read here is purely my own take and instinct from listening to the album.

I found some of these tracks to be quite touching in a way. Personal experience really comes into play when listening to an album that touches on such raw subjects. MUZ’s lyrical wordplay and flow technique shows a great adaptability with complexity and knowledge. He often draws you into the world he is creating on each track allowing you to see his point of view but, also giving you enough room bring in your own personal experiences. You might find that some tracks take you a few listens to really get the point but, that’s not a bad thing as it displays the longevity this album is likely to have, because you won’t forget it in a hurry.

Production, all by MUZ, here is all totally on point and in a way the elevates the whole thing, twisting and bending your interpretation of reality but, at the same time, holding your focus on the points that really matter and are of true importance. There are moments of grounding and others of true emotion that you can feel to your core, all enhanced by the musical content.

That personal aspect that comes through on some tracks really does touch you on many levels and all in all the album merges into this deep narrative on life through the eyes of MUZ. At times it does feel like you’re on a shamanic trip courtesy of a good helping of peyote but, in the end you come out on a positive note knowing that you can create that brighter future.

Yeah, some of this is profound and I highly advise you to grab this one and take your own trip alongside MUZ.

The limited two-week digital release begins today, 1st October, with full physical release to follow in the near future.

On that note, I give huge thanks to MUZ for sending this over,

I’m out,




Get the album on Bandcamp Here:


Check MUZ on Instagram:


Check MUZ on YouTube: