This release from West Yorkshire label and brain child of head honcho ExP, Sinoptic Music, sees them showcasing the talents of six artists on the label; the EP is available as a free download which gets an immediate big up. The label’s been around since 2006 but 2011 is the year where things are pushing forward for them. Individually the artists (emcees and producers and those that dabble in both) have been around for a while but this is the first time they’ve come together on one release. Are big tings a gwan? Well let’s have a look.
Kicking things off is Addverse, formerly of Huddersfield based Shedmen, who handles the production and controls the mic. His track ‘out of space’ is fairly short, lightly weighing in at 1:31 and feels more like an introduction to his work than a full on track. His story of space travel is nicely done over a laid back, atmospheric beat but leaves me wanting to hear more (maybe that’s the point?).
Second we see an instrumental from producer Illuzual entitled ‘qve’ now I’ve never been a huge lover of instrumental hip hop, he handles the production well again on spaced out, winding down into the early hours bunnin’ a zoot kinda vibe but again at 1:31 for me it’s more of a taster for things to come.
Track 3 is the one that properly catches my attention so far, Bradford’s Lunar C, who’s been making a name for himself on the Don’t Flop circuit, drops heavy and biographical on ‘StillSkint’ with some tight flows and well thought out lyrics. The beat by ExP is on a minimalist tip employing a sweeping piano loop throughout and gives Lunar the platform to demonstrate his class on the mic.
Tracks 4 and 6 sees two instrumentals the former being ‘Teacher/Honey’ by Neverlearn and the latter ‘Illy Holliday’ by ExP both continue with the mellow feel of the EP with jazz hip hop productions, ExP’s being the preferred choice for me.
Skipping back one to track 5, Thornbury’s flames spitter JND takes over on ‘Don’t Panic’ this is the most up tempo track of the EP, but still retains the jazzy like Jeff feel of it with the beats being supplied by Indiana Tones. JND’s controlled flow is impressive but the thoughtful subject matter about the destruction of the planet is even more so. Anyone can spit sick chatting about nothing in particular but he does it with something meaningful to get the brain matter charged – this and Lunar C’s tracks being the stand outs of the EP for me.
So there we have it, the verdict – big tings indeed – are this crew the best collective to come out of West Yorkshire since YnR chipped off to that there London? I reckon that could well be the case – their future releases will determine that, the next one’s due in August and there’s even more to come by the end of the year.