Thursday, 21 June 2007

The Best Music

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Aspects are a little different to your average hip-hop group. They make music in a distinctly British way (its hard to describe what this actually means, but there is something about their sound that instantly hits you as being 'English Hip-Hop') and this definitely endears them to me. The emcees Probe Mantis and El Eye are two different emcees to your usual, spitting similes ahoy with obscure pop culture references abundant in their verses. The topics of the tracks they rap over have incredible range, from the marvels of a chicken to the good feeling you get from surfing (something I found quite strange considering the fact surfing is almost pointless at UK's placid beaches).

Their producer Specify is an accomplished beatmaker, and along with DJ Mixmaster Nu-Balance the sound of their debut 'Correct English' was very er...hip-hop. Their sound changed completely on their follow-up album 'Mystery Theatre' which incorporated live instruments (even indie-rock band The Bees featured on a song) and had a more organic sound. The line-up had changed, with Beezlebubber Lucifer (the third emcee) and their old DJ Nu-Balance nowhere to be seen, replaced by beatboxer Monkey-Moo and some session musicians.

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The pick of the first album's tracks were unsurprisingly the lead-off singles 'My Genre' and 'Best Music', the former containing a musical sample from Oliver Cheatam's disco classic 'Get Down Saturday Night', and the latter just being fresher than milk still inside of a cow's udder. Also, the song 'Ects Factor' sounds like it could have been on a Fleapit album (which is a very good thing).

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The second album, although a bit of a change, was much improved. The songs were well-thought out and tight in their ideas, and the precision of the music itself was much more apparent. In fact, 'Mystery Theatre' was probably one of the best UK hip-hop albums to come out in 2004. The opening track 'Impact' is a great example of this new tightened sound, with much smoother (dare I say commercial?) production. The next two tracks from this album I have selected show thier use of real instruments and session musicians, with 'Man Under The Sea' and Soul Sister' both using a distinctly non-hip-hop sounding backdrop with rap verses over the top. Don't be put off by this, however, as it works a treat and I personally can't wait until their next proper full length. Incidentally, I have heard that in the past few years they have released a few mixtapes and mash-up records, so if anyone could point me in the direction of these I would greatly appreciate it!

Due to the fact that the compilation I put up in the last post got more downloads than any of the single downloads I have uploaded have, I will now be putting all of the single downloads in one file. This makes it easier for you lot to get the songs (less mucking about), and makes sure you hear ALL of the songs uploaded and not just one. But seriously, you are a bunch of lazy bastards aren't you?

- My Genre (from 'Correct English')
- Best Music (from 'Correct English')
- Ects Factor (from 'Correct English')
- Impact (from 'Mystery Theatre')
- Man Under The Sea (from 'Mystery Theatre')
- Soul Sister (featuring Little Barrie) (from 'Mystery Theatre')

Download Northern Author's 'Aspects' Compilation

Aspects - Off The Lip (video)

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