Over a year of eager anticipation built up by premature video releases and performing unquestionably exuberant shows across the UK’s maddest hip-hop grounds throughout 2013, has all been leading up to this release from Greasy Vinyl records. Whether or not people will view it as worth the wait, I can certainly tell you right now that it was definitely worth the wait. Full of innovative collaborations from groups and artists around the UK, not mentioning J-man’s impeccable stamina and rhyming style that’s near untouchable in it’s originality makes this close to the most perfect début record that he could have asked for. Let me tell you why…
Welcome Aboard takes lift off into the journey that is Auronagraphy. Once mid-flight into 4D Reality you’re hit with an unnervingly mysterious beat, spat over by J-man’s deep bars that are rhymed on an elevated level with smooth delivery, intelligently detailing his fourth dimensional thoughts. Shouts out to Bad Habits on the beat for Any Point Of The Day, who pulsates a calmer backing track with a heavier hook. The lyrics promote a peaceful emotive, working to expose a light into the darkness of the world – completely relaxing material. This is followed by Highly Lo, which only further emphasizes J-man’s natural ease with delivering quickly spat verses.
Featuring Brighton’s current hottest blues/hip-hop hybrid Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Roll Your Dice sees J-man relive the tough times in a soft spoken voice over an even gentler instrumental, but through a love with the mic he found a way to overcome the troubles. An overall uplifting track only enhanced by Rag’s soulful singing – you only wish it’d play for longer. Another High Focus collaboration features in track 6 Inner Peace, where Jman’s supported by the expertise of both Fliptrix & Leaf Dog, who collectively offer their experienced deliverance in the form of thought-provoking insights alongside one another. Undoubtedly one of the most powerful tracks on the record is the Honey Trap, which tells a fictional yet serious account of the consequences caused in a sad scenario that’s unintentionally created by an unfaithful female, Samantha. With brilliant delivery in each verse, you can truly feel the rhymes coming from the heart in this one.
For The Love is more of a mid-way interlude than a track, marking the remainder of the peace talk before adopting more aggressive wordplay over the next 8 tracks, only further demonstrating his exceptional stamina. So Contagious is indeed infectious, where J-man alongside Inja & Dabbla spit trippy ‘mystic shit’ by going in hard, each individually producing impressive verses. More intelligent wordplay follows suit in Biroglyphics, spat with affluence over a fresh Boombap beat. To follow up, Splitprophets lyricist Res features on track 11 Father Figures, joining J-man to simultaneously produce slick bars to accompany the beat brilliantly, if anything only emphasizing that indeed neither gent is particularly father figure material and resulting in a track that’s indefinitely catchy to say the least.
Clik Shit sees J-man and GV Clik going in with aggressive venom that’s at first contrasting of the seemingly innocent instrumental, but becomes an excellent accompaniment before going into a dirtier track called Wet Fish, which gives insight into one of potentially many freaky sexual exploits endeavoured by J-man over a dark, groovy beat. Following this trait sees a viscous RLD showcase in Cougar Piss (named after a strain, not an old woman’s urine) which features BVA, Tommy Dockerz as well as Smellington Piff, Sean Peng and iNDEX. Each accounting for their own undesirable aspects with a sly pride, this track takes point as undoubtedly the dirtiest collaboration on the record.
Track 15 Anxious is probably to best track to highlight and express J-man’s true prowess over a deep, shadowy bassline which only just manages to keep up with his sinister bars spat at a furious pace – taking break only for Steve Strongs gentle chorus. The record ends on an almighty high with a Dr Syntax feature, alongside the sweet singing of Eva Lazarus over a hefty jungle sample on the final track Weed And Ale. Upbeat, cheerful and buoyant it’ll drown your worries and get you on your feet one last time for a fantastic finale.
Auranography is available for digital purchase on itunes and Bandcamp. Limited edition vinyls can be copped from the Greasy Vinyl big cartel website. Don’t miss out on this record any longer. Buy it today:
Review by Ethan Everton