Aquasocks - Holos
Reviewed by David Taylor
Genre : Hip Hop
Seeing this release immediately peaked my interest as I’m already a big fan of Ghetto Socks although I was yet to hear anything from this project in which he has teamed up with fellow Canadian artist Aquakultre.
If you want to hear a good example of how dope Ghetto Socks flow is go have a listen to his album ‘For You Pretty Things’ and if you want to check out how dope his production skills are check out ‘Valkyrie’ by Nilla; still one of my favourite releases of the last couple of years.
Ghetto Socks also has another project in which he has teamed up with yet another dope Canadian artist Timbuktu called Teenburger; both of their albums are also highly recommended.
Anyway back to the review; the album opens with ‘Wonderground’ a real deep track which moves along to a warped sub bass line and a set of keys for a melody that floats on the rhymes nicely.
With no pause for breath it moves into second track ‘Marsha Ambrosious’. This is based around a dope soul vocal sample and features a sublime scratch chorus from DJ Uncle Fester.
The pairs rhyme patterns intertwine seamlessly on the beat and you can hear the chemistry in the MC’s working together.
The album takes a breather with ‘Higher Learning’ a soulful mellow track featuring guest vocals from Chudi Harris a Soul/R’n’B/Contemporary Blues artist who also hails from Halifax,Nova Scotia.
‘Sensei and Grasshopper’ lets Aquakultre’s rhymes take centre stage on an off kilter, Dilla’esque beat PRODUCED BY Ghettosocks that sits alongside some subtle keys.
‘My Escape’ is introduced by more super nice cuts from DJ Uncle Fester that giveaway to a super jazzy loop and a glowing warm bass under a nice beat. The MC’s vocal sparring is the icing on the cake on this track.
‘Conversation’ patters along to more luscious jazz loops and a bass laden beat. The verse delivered in unmistakable Ghetto Socks style makes way to a super catchy and melodic hook before Aquakultre takes the microphone.
The chemistry between the two rappers is the glue that holds the whole record together and the album is definitely at the mellow end of the scale for the most part.
‘Trump Tight’ brings a heavier rhythm to the table featuring a guest verse from Chevy Price who has popped up on some other delectable Canadian Rap cuts; look out for her.
To me they saved the best tracks until last;
‘Star Tropics’ is a highlight for me. Set to another off kilter Dilla-esque beat over a smooth piano loop and some nice synth sounds this is a sure fire winner.
DJ Uncle Fester shows a flash of inspiration with the production on ‘Wires Remix’ which features some dope brass stabs chopped up on yet more jazzy loops which are dropped between the kicks and snares of a satisfying boom bap beat.
I am an avid follower of the Canadian Hip Hop scene and this album is a fine example of what it has to offer. Setting a very high standard in terms of production and rhymes this is a must for anyone that likes their Hip Hop vibe heavy; go check it out, start at the last track and work backwards!
Hit the link below; the vinyl release is limited to just 300 copies including full lyrics in the sleeve art. Any diggers amongst you that are keen there is also a 45 single with ‘Wires’ and ‘Abudhabi’ available from Black Buffalo Records; link below.