Origine du Groupe : Australia
Style : Abstract Hip Hop , Electronic , Alternative
Sortie : 2008
By Dom Alessio from http://www.thevine.com.au
Indebted to hip-hop pioneers as much as ‘70s funk and Motown soul, Hermitude’s largely instrumental second release Threads defies the trend by producing an Australian hip-hop record equipped with a panoramic view. Perhaps we can point the finger of blame at the one-dimensional sound of the Hilltop Hoods for inspiring a generation of insipid artists with keyhole vision. Now there’s a seemingly endless wave of rappers rhyming in exaggerated Australian accents aping America’s egocentric style.
That’s what makes a record like Threads so important in a typically cloistered scene. A song like ‘Exhale’, featuring Hau of Koolism fame, demonstrates a musical depth and lyrical intelligence that’s missing from a slew of new Aussie hip-hop releases. Self-aggrandisement is replaced with humility. Lyrics like “I’ve got to slow it down / refocus now” are at odds with a medium usually reserved for MCs telling you how good they are, or how much they like to party. Occasionally it’s difficult to not care when you’re throwing those hands in the air.
That’s not to say that Hermitude take themselves too seriously. ‘Your Call’ finds Aussie hip-hop stalwart Urthboy playing call-and-response with the honey-voiced Elana Stone who mellifluously flirts “I’ve been wondering if I should call you.” She subverts the hip-hop female stereotype of being a mere sexual avatar; Stone’s toying with her male counterpart in a song about finding love in a café. Jamaican icon Luciano does his peace and love thing on the bouncy track ‘New People’, a fairly staid song that conforms to the typical reggae checklist.
Vocals are a rarity on a record that more often than not is reminiscent of the turntablism of RJD2 and DJs Krush and Shadow. ‘Frayed’, with its sombre piano melody and sampled soul vocals, recalls DJ Shadow’s seminal Entroducing. The block industrial beats of opener ‘Bloodshot’ sounds like DJ Krush spinning records in the depths of East Berlin. There are sprightlier moments, such as the oddly Flaming Lips-esque ‘The River’ and space party jams like ‘Vector’ and ‘Slychain’, that arc back to the duo’s days in performing in funk bands in the Blue Mountains. The importance of this history can’t be overstated in the context of Threads: it gives the music of Hermitude heart and soul. You can hear it in the sinuous bass lines, the meticulously arranged songs and breath of musical touchstones.
Threads is one of the most illuminating Australian hip-hop records of the year, and evidence that there’s still a wide berth of territory to discover for artists willing to remove the blinkers.
03. 44 Gallons
04. New People (feat. Luciano)
05. The River
06. Cartridge Kings
07. Exhale (feat. Hau)
08. Frayed (feat. Steve Clisby)
10. Your Call (feat. Urthboy & Elana Stone)
11. Stepping Stones