JPDL & Yogi Beats
Reviewed by David Taylor
Label : Played Out Records
Genre : Hip Hop
I stumbled across this LP in the form of a sponsored facebook ad that popped up on my stream and caught my eye, after clicking through and listening to the first couple of tracks I instantly logged on to the Qrates page and pledged to buy the vinyl.
There are a few things that I love in life including; Hip Hop, supporting independent UK music, collecting records and finding new music before it blows up; this LP ticked every single one of those boxes!
Played Out Records is the stable that produced this record and hats off to them, this is one stonking debut release. The team at Played Out are based up in Gloucester and this brand new independent label is testament to the talent that their local scene has to offer.
I was familiar with Yogi Beats and I have some wax that he produced some years ago sitting somewhere in the collection but I had not heard of JPDL previously. He has an instantly recognisable voice, that gravelly edge and slight West Country twang steps through the beats nicely.
I spent a lot of time in the 90’s listening to Tricky and Portishead and to me, moments of this album and JPDL’s vocal tone are reminiscent of that Bristol sound.
These boys obviously have a grounding in golden era Hip Hop, from what I have seen from videos on-line they provide a dope live set in the traditional rap format of Yogi on an SP404 hammering out samples from the pads whilst JPDL entertains his audience with intricate flows and ample stage presence.
As you can tell this release is right up my street so let’s delve into the music….
The LP opens with a very strong intro, a real funky riff over a nice break complimented by expert cuts by DJ Slaazninjah.
The lush funk loops of ‘Rebirth’ and four to the floor groove of ’11 a.m.’ provide a pleasant break from the Hip Hop agenda. JPDL explores the topic of empty, meaningless lyrics with aplomb on ‘Rhyme About Nothing’; “Intricate bows on empty parcels I’m delivering” sums up this grumble about bars that are lacking in content and let’s face it we are all down with this opinion, right? This expert delivery flows on a lovely piano loop interspersed with more super sharp cuts from Slaazninjah.
On ‘What if’ JPDL ponders on what life would be like if he hit the big time over ethereal keys that sit on a bumping slap bass line. Griz-O provides guest verses on this and the pair spar over some bar for bar patterns which work very well.
I just can’t get enough of the blissed out, mellow loop, vocal samples and ingenious stuttered synth sample courtesy of Yogi Bear’s cross fader on ‘Lazy Afternoon’; a pure throwback to 90’s Bristol Trip Hop to me.
This track and the weighty, off kilter kicks and snares scattered over cascading keys of ’04:20 a.m.’ are what makes the musicality and the feel of this L.P so stand alone to so much other current U.K Rap.
The stand out track by far for me is ‘Drinking’. Opening to haunting Jazz tinged samples, a bass laden beat drops alongside JPDL’s tale of drunken debauchery before the uber Blues sounding hook comes into the track. JPDL’s supremely natural flow glides over the second verse before the powerhouse hook is back followed by a dope scratch verse; pure fire.
All in all the most creative, vibey and original UK Hip Hop project I’ve encountered for a very long time. I will be following Played Out Records’ moves very closely and checking for all new music from JPDL and Yogi Beats for sure.