It’s easy to miss this album in the onslaught of new exciting releases. Just because it’s so… I don’t know, humble and one might even say simple. Well, that “one” should just keep his feeding hole shut. Because let me tell you this – it’s thanks to people like Shag with albums like Revolution trip-hop is still “a thing”. They put both trip- and -hop right back into it. Electronic music is full of all kinds of creativity and innovation these days and it’s great and I’m excited to hear the good ol’ “everything’s been done” statement being disproved every day. But a lot of those “innovators” are like some fancy chefs who would construct you an elaborate dish using liquid nitrogen and foam and god knows what else but ask them to fry some eggs – they’ll burn them. Shag fries some mean eggs. He’s been doing it for over two years now (at least that’s how his earliest release on Bandcamp is dated) and you might have heard some examples of his fine work if you’re a regular Trippin’ The Rift radio listener, but, in his own words, he “had the most fun” working on Revolution. And it definitely projected right into each and every track. And as for “simplicity” of it – it’s not about how much junk you can squeeze into one track, it’s about finding the right stuff and putting it in the right order. I guess it is a definition of simplicity, but to me it is also definition of good music. There’s just absolutely nothing unnecessary on Revolution, and at just under 40 minutes Shag keeps this ride short and sweet. From the very first beats it makes you nod your head and go “Yeeeeeah…” – and it just keeps going that way until the end. It’s very hip-hop, but Shag manages to keep it above the level of “hip-hop instrumentals” – rhythm, beats and samples are so tastefully selected that you’re totally engaged and even the one track that actually has rapping on it – “Searching For Better” (featuring very organic Landon Wordswell) – integrates words into music so well that they become equal part of the track instead of dominating it. The title (according to Shag) relates more to things that are circling around in our lives (namely spinning of a record), but I could also feel the expression of the other meaning of the word in the music – it’s fighting your fight every day, sticking to your guns against all odds – that’s Revolution I’d join. I’m gonna keep this review short and sweet as well and just say that Revolution is the smoothest record I’ve heard since the last Nightmares On Wax release (and it’s been a few years since that). It’s available at Bandcamp for a measly $1 and there’s also a Mediafire link there if you don’t feel very supportive.
R.I.Y.L. Nightmares On Wax, Sharpshooters, feeling good about yourself
personal favs: “Summa Love”, “Searching For Better” (feat. Landon Wordswell), “Start Over”
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