The weather in the UK is something that is always on everybody’s lips. This year has gotten people talking more than ever, with ‘global warming’, ‘save the planet’ and ‘fuck me its hot’ the three most recently used phrases. If you thought that this heatwave was hot, you are not going to be prepared for the absolute fire that has been dropped by Joker Starr and King Kashmere under the collected guise of GAWD Status, in the form of their new LP Firmamentum.
Released through Tru Thoughts the collaborative LP brings socially conscious lyrics laid out upon a canvas of new wave beats. The opener ‘Heavy Metal’ is formed by slow, almost spoken word lyrics covering subjects as broad as Catholicism to the influx of mumble rap. Though methodical in approach the beat creates a difficult sound, on the surface it seems slightly hard to engage with. This is helped by the lyrical approach juxtaposed the beat which draws you in. Once it has you hooked you can start hearing the complexity of the lyrics and the multi layered instrumental, a very interesting opener.
The next two tracks both touch on similar subject matters, ‘Messiah Hybrids’ and ‘I Am An African’ look back on black culture and heritage. Though through both tracks you can find similar story arcs, they are worlds apart in terms of sound. The former has a minimalist sound, subtle notes matched with a slow pace, creating a show of intent for the message to be heard. The latter has a steady pace to the beat, married with tribal undertones, it still wants the message of the track to be heard, though tackling this with a different approach.
The LP then begins to travel down the abstract route of the opening song. With tracks like ‘Amplified Science’, ‘Admiral Byrd’ and ‘Uranium’ all fitting with that ethos. Sandwiched in the middle of the space age noises, coming through is the throwback track, ‘The Alchemist’. Coupled with an Eric B and Rakim sample, the whole song is in a soulful boom bap style.
From ‘Nibiru with Love’, an instrumental track closes the LP, mixed in lo-fi sounds compliment the production of the album wonderfully, a perfect way to ease you out of the sometimes hectic sounds of GAWD Status.
An eclectic mix from start to finish, the duo have clearly set out a target and achieved it. All aspects of the LP have been created purposefully, though on the surface it can become quite hard to listen to, once the surface has been scratched it unveils a deep, meaningful product.
Fimamentum drops tomorrow and you can cop that ish right here.