Cardiff based duo Blue City CDF (Jay Rede and Formal Brown) have teamed up with producer Risk1, for their fourth album “Anamnesis” (an interesting title referring to a ‘recollection of a previous existence’), out now on Bard Picasso records. Risk1 handles all beatwork and cuts on the new 17 track release, which initially appears to be a standard boom bap offering but on further inspection is quite a personal piece of music, delving into love, life and loss, making references to many of the creature comforts and challenges experienced in British households with a sharp Hip Hop edge. We dusted off the old walkman, pumped up the volume and stepped back into some retro sh*t, here’s our first impressions…
The album opens with the titular ‘Anamnesis‘, some fantastic boom bap horns, kicks and snappy drums act as an intro to the release, ‘Come and take a walk down memory lane..’. Jay and Formal exchange bars over the energetic dose, topped off with some Risky cuts featuring Duke Nukem and Biggie. ‘Golden Days‘ is a chilled out affair that reminisces about ‘the golden days that I remember’, where Formal sings the hook, the first of many tracks on the release where we get singing on the chorus, it’s a refreshing addition. The first single (video below) ‘Rivers’ features a solid verse from award winning Yonkers based rapper Jass Bianchi, whose bars are dressed with a nice vocal sample, building b-lines and mixed nicely with the Blue City boys verses, great track. ‘Indebted‘ is a touching tribute to a cherished patriarch, a tonal shift away from the more adolescent antics to focus on family, specifically losing a loved one, some sincere singing on the hook, strings blend with harps, flute samples and gentle breaks, honest and open.
Continuing with the more mature themes is ‘Cry no more‘, detailing a challenging pregancy, birth and resulting parenthood, the highs and lows, rich beats meld into a warm hammond organ sample, a toucing track. ‘Retro Sh*t‘ features The Scribes and is an enjoyable romp through listing some of the more nostalgic items in our collections; K Swiss, Teenage Mutant Ninja (or in the UK ‘Hero’) Turtles, WWF, Transformers, plus various TV and video game references to name a few, enjoyed the cuts on this one, . ‘Young Again’ is another example of their storytelling prowess, soft jazz keys with gentle drums , catchy hook, reflecting on how easy (or non-complicated) life was for our younger selves, we can all relate.
The guys recently caught up with Blade on his 05:21 channel, have a watch:
There are some interesting ideas here, although much of which we have seen before, however this is still a commendable effort from the Cardiff duo, great beats, bars and bravado, loving the throwback nostagic walk down memory lane, definitely one for your mixtape playlist, a hearfelt body of work.
‘Anamnesis’ is out on all digital channels, grab your copy now.
As always these are just my opinons but what did you think of ‘Anamnesis’? Tweet me your thoughts and recommendations.
Words by Theo Specone
p.s. White Lightning is definitely something many of us would rather forget but maybe that’s just me, the same goes for 20:20’s and Thunderbirds, for those who remember 🙂