Reviews::Braintax - Panorama

For many years, my knowledge of UK hip hop was like a British tourist without a sunburn - non-existant. There wasn't much available over here, and I didn't get into dudes like Roots Manuva all that much. But then Mike Skinner became famous, and for the first time since Morris Minor & The Majors I was interested in hearing British dudes rappin'.

So that leads us to Braintax, the alter ego of MC and owner of Low Life records, Joseph Christie. Like Mike Skinner and The Streets, Braintax started out as a group, but in the end was whittled down to one man and a mic. But that's where I'll cut it with The Streets comparisons as they probably aren't fair. The man known as Brains is more of an MC than Mike Skinner cares to be and his music leans more towards straight forward hip hop than the garage/grime hip hop stylings of The Streets.

Panorama is the second long player from Braintax, and really it's a refreshing album. From the soulful opener All I Need, down through political darts like Syriana Style or Decade, you can feel the passion and honesty Joseph Christie puts into his music. Joe's a talented MC and his Yorkshire accent isn't overpowering, so his delivery is pleasant and unique for North American ears. The production on the album is also quite good, ranging from classic boom bap sounds to some electro experimentation. Featuring tracks from folks like Louis Slipperz, Elmore Judd, Bergrymm, Copperpot, Beat Butcha, and Brains himself, the beats do a good job of being interesting enough to get the listener's attention, but not overshadowing the lyrics.

And unlike plenty of hip hop these days, hearing the lyrics on Panorama is a good thing. Not that Braintax is covering any groundbreaking subjects, but like I said his honest approach to lyriscm is a welcome change. All I Need and Monsoon Funk both sing the virtues of being true to yourself over very catchy beats. Syrianna Style uses a middle eastern flavoured track to take Tony Blair and his master George Walter Bush (Word to Borat!) to task. In fact politics is a frequent subject on this album as The Grip Again (A Day In The Life of a Suicide Bomber) puts Brains in the role of a, well, suicide bomber, and Decade is a unique look at how Margaret Thatcher's crazy politricks messed up Brits of the Braintax generation.

But it's not all seriousness here. On the bongo-laced Good Or Bad, Brains and Mystro sing the virtues of good or bad "birds" (that's British for girls!) respectively. Last Tenner celebrates English pub culture - "Fuck it, let's go and get drunk". Amen! Back To The Riviera has some funky 60's horns and some fun lyrics about the fast life on the Riviera.

So do enjoys British accents? How about hip hop? Well don't wait my friend, get in on the ground floor with Braintax. Seriously though, if you're looking for some hip hop that's different than the same ole same we have on this side of the pond, Panorama is well worth checking out.

MySpace::Low Life Records


@ 8:58 AM, T.C kicked the following game:

I had the last istalment of joey branis work "Birofunk" and i have to say that it one of those albums that you never get board of. Maybee braintax is for the U.S hip-hop lister whos geting fed up with all the main stream hip hop shite that comes out america these day and facys a diffrent look on the scien, with ryms that flow in sentences and actuly make a poin and interest you.

So thinking of some uk hip hop to buy try- klashnekoff- focus mode album, skinnyman, braintax birofunk and panorama and foreinge beggers- asylum speakers!!


sorry about my spelling grammer is very bad

 

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