If you’re anything like 90% of Brits, the past few months have been pretty heavy. With the world reopening (or at least this odd little island), the temptation to enjoy freedom through a haze of cider and cheap hash has probably never been stronger. Hip hop goes hand in hand with that festival feeling.

But it’s easy to forget that not every night has to be debauched to be fun. Sometimes just trying to spit rhymes with your friends over a beat is more than enough. So is the case with the latest EP from the Gold on the Mixer crew.

Even though the bars cover everything from poverty to drug abuse to folklore (and there’s no doubt the studio got pretty hazy at times), there’s a sense that Always is about the art. In other words, it’s the result of pals just hanging out, trying to outdo each other.

Gold on the Mixer regulars like Deeq, Amos, Jaroo and Evolucian make an appearance along with new heads Airklipz and EF Knows. Maybe it’s the lyrical dexterity that so many nu-skool rappers seem to shun. Or maybe it’s the joy of hearing rappers trading bars in a back-and-forth like they’re playing a block party in late ‘80s Brooklyn. Whatever it is, it’s refreshing.

You can picture the boys in the studio, working up the wildest rhymes and laying down beats like a gauntlet. And the beats are slick as a seals fish supper. Whether it’s Noisiboi summoning the spirit of The Herbaliser in opener ‘Lace It’ or Palmer Eldritch looping some tasty blues licks on ‘Kings’, the GOTM crew are leading the way in immaculately manicured beats.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your freedom with a bag of cans (cans optional). But sometimes, you can have just as good a night immersing yourself in the unfettered, unfiltered joy of spitting bars with your mates.

Always is out now on Gold on the Mixer.