I’m fairly certain that I initially posted a song from Vancouver duo Hidden Fortress because both hill legend Shawn Lapaix and the Ack know one of the dudes in the group and passed it on to me. Well no such connection is needed where the group’s new record All That Is is concerned. MC nofutureface and DJ/Producer UsdNeedls have teamed up with TO’s Hand’Solo records these days, and they’ve got a slab of excellent dark hip hop on their hands here.
All That Is appears to suggest that HF have found a perfect understanding between MC and producer for the sound they are going for. UsdNeedls creates dense, ominous soundscapes that have a definite hip hop thump to them, but every other audible crevice is filled with spooky and/or menacing sounds. nofutureface attacks these tracks with a type of macabre glee, delivering his politically apocalyptic lyrics with enough charisma and rhythm that the songs remain very listenable even if you aren’t catching the deluge of dark knowledge he’s dropping. HF mix things up with a few guests, but they chose their guests wisely on this outing, with each one possessing a style that meshes well with the sound of the album. Hill fave Modulok is a great fit on the booming Apotheosis, Planit (aka producer The Dirty Sample) helps HF scare Rich Folks with his baritone vocals, and Japanese MC Kaigen seems like a natural fit on the glitchy Slangshot.
I’ve been trying to avoid adding any kind of “you’ll like this if” type qualifier to Hidden Fortress, but I’m afraid I’m going to fail in that endeavor: if you like your hip hop dark and dense, with thumping beats and lyrics that you can no only sing along with, but that can give you something to think about, I’d suggest you get with these guys. Hand’Solo has All That Is available of course, but you can grab yourself a copy of their Third Eye Cyclops EP for gratis. So go ahead and do that.
VIDEO:: Hidden Fortress – “Good Hurt” LIVE