Exciting days for the underground hip-hop heads, with the debut full-length pairing of MC Mr. Lif and producer L’Orange now landing. The flows and the grooves sit perfectly together, and the party is boosted further by appearances from Gonjasufi, Akrobatik and others. The Life & Death Of Scenery is released by the Mello Music Group label.
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The smooth underground heads rejoice as L’Orange gets together with Mr. Lif for more webspun rap epics, melding together the former’s production with the latter’s MCing, which was pretty well celebrated on ‘Don’t Look Down’ already. Loops and turntablisms go through this record like a revolving door of loveliness, with little snatches of piano, brass, speech and the like setting the table and then putting it on repeat.
This is, narratively, a bit of an epic poem, as if it were played contentedly: the duo speak to a parallel universe where “books are all burned, vinyl is melted, and the remaining art is catapulted over the city walls”, with their record of relaxed beats and meditatively delivered observations acting as a resistance antidote. The more ominous elements of the story are told with a wonderfully calm poise from Mr. Lif -- between bassline grooves, vinyl crackle and gorgeous loops I assume are from locked vinyl, he creates a kinda lovely counterbalancing irony in which the duo's dystopia is fought against with knowing patience.
It’s a lovely, bright record that’s almost ominous when it’s brightest, as on the creepy, b-movie whistling sampled on “The Gentle End” -- whether it’s left to linger or cut off way ahead of time. The record goes on to feature additions from Gonjasufi, who offers a gloomier and more disparate type of sound on the record towards its closing moments. Overall, though, this record builds up a nemesis of crate-digging hip-hop and then tears it down with the very same.
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