Gold on the Mixer – Always EP Review
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.
GOTM – Tellem
Seriously heavy posse cut from the Gold On The Mixer family. Taken from the label’s debut posse EP Always (available for pre-order here). The visual for ‘Tellem’ shot by our own Dfacer features bars by Amos, Deeq, Evolucian, Airklipz, Benny Diction, Jaroo & EF Knows. Dope instrumental courtesy of Zatoichi’s Ears.
IYDK: Buff Bentley X Golden Shed – Premium Platinum
The Gold on the Mixer boys are back with more arcane bars, obtuse references and blunt British observations. Buff Bentley (AKA Jaroo from Northern Structure Records) and Golden Shed (AKA Zatoichi’s Ears, AKA Intricate Diligence) offer a strange concoction, part East Coast bombast, part West coast boom-bap, and entirely British.
Premium Platinum isn’t gunning for a spot on top 40. It’s a celebration of the kind of crate-digging, experimental sound popularised by the Stones Throw crew back in the early ‘90s.
That might sound like an odd claim for a rough collective of UK-based psychedelic soldiers with a grounding in eastern philosophy, obscure sci-fi and vintage sportswear. But then hip hop is an open field. For every classic boom-bap beat there’s a grotesque genre-crossing instrumental. For every premium-production pop piece, there’s an aspirant anomaly cooked up in someone’s bedroom.
Take the title track. Buff Bentley glides over the bare piano loop and pivots on a butter-smooth bassline with bars about living the high life on a shoestring budget.
Even the unashamed bragging is delivered with a knowing nod and a wink. On ‘Big’, Bentley raps, “Everything I spit is straight facts // Everything I rockin’ TK Maxx.”
And while the bars may be almost impenetrable, there’s no question where the production takes its cues from. From the cosmic synth-jazz of ‘Know’ to the looped sax of ‘Need’, Premium Platinum owes a heavy debt to Dilla.
If you’re not yet convinced of Gold on the Mixer’s unique approach, this latest LP probably won’t change your mind. But for anyone looking to stray beyond the boundaries of mainstream hip hop, Premium Platinum is as good a vehicle as you’ll get.
Premium Platinum is out now on Gold on the Mixer.