If Porter Ray's debut single is anything to go by, then his full length - Watercolor - is to be highly anticipated. Sacred Geometry is a promising and deep electronic expedition, layered amongst a reel of candid lyrics - keep an eye out for this burgeoning Seattle-based innovator.
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Discovered by Shabazz Palace's Ishmael Butler, Porter Ray has here documented his early life in Seattle via as series of innovative hip-hop snapshots which combine the classic boom-bap sound with a sort of dreamy post chill wave. Opener ‘Waves’ provides one of the more innovative hip-hop tracks of this era sounding like something on the Tri-Angle label, billowing synths create beautiful late night soundscapes which Ray flows over the top blending in with the track rather than dominating it.
Nothing else is really quite as effective from then on as Porter’s reedy voice takes the lead, ‘Past Life’ is a fast flow of juggernaut delivery documenting the singers upbringing., It just..…just stays on the right side of the mysoginist blather that still passes for rap these days but what is most impressive is the music which is constantly dreamy - a few tracks in there starts to be a similarity of flow on a few tracks and I’m left wanting Ray to stretch out away from his tried and tested delivery a bit more than he seems comfortable with.
Lyrically these are disconcerting tales from Ray’s upbringing - lots of mentions of his grandma funnily enough. One of the highlights ‘Navi Truck’ makes me wince with it’s references to ‘pussy’ but the music is gorgeous here, with a simple lolling beat interrupted by slabs of innovative violin, rhodes piano and acoustic guitar.
This ain’t no cliche-hop - it’s innovative and fresh which makes some of the lyrical clunkers stand out like a turd on a trifle but still a very promising effort.
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- Watercolor by Porter Ray
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