Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Jon Phonics - 'Half Past Calm' review

Jon Phonics forms beats in the 90’s mould - no bad thing. ‘Half Past Calm’ proves that sampling and flipping classics is still a relevant art form. The beats are evocative, an essential element when working with MC’s – they have to be inspired. The guest list is a nice selection of current names including MC’s from Triple Darkness, Verb T, Sir Smurf Lil’ and Mr. Drastick.

Jon Phonics provides the MC’s with more than decent backdrops for their deep thoughts. Even scanning through the track listing provides evidence that these rappers have something to say; they have been stimulated by the quality of Jon’s music. Each track is a solid head-nodder and at 12 tracks long the formula isn’t tiresome. This CD provides the perfect soundtrack for either an evening in or a car journey and the weight of the beats means that many tracks would sound awesome on a club sound system.

Sets like this should revive hopes of Hip Hop’s health in 2008. If the masses were listening to music like this they wouldn’t be moaning about Hip Hop’s lifelessness. The fact that this brilliant release is totally free does provoke the question: ‘How will Hip Hop survive and stay alive when the music is given away?’. The answer I think is that we’ll have to wait and see, this change is only just beginning to take place and who knows, this new business model may reap many rewards. Certainly, if the free music in question is as fine as that of Jon Phonics, artists should have no problem with garnering a following.

Certified Bangers: ‘Nothing Wrong’ ft. Mr. Drastick & Luc Skyz, ‘The Lion’s Den ft. Cyrus Malachi & ‘Jealousy’s a Bitch’ ft. Mr. Drastick & Verb T.

Top Lyrics: “And there’s no war, but there’s many ills//Over love many innocents are getting killed//over hate, many enemies relate//tryna come to a compromise, they conversate” (Verb T on ‘Alternate Take’)

Download 'Half Past Calm' here!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is such a crazy release. Nice review, I downloaded this and it changed the game!!!