I’m not sure Guelph is the first place that comes to mind when you think of Instrumental hip hop music, but perhaps it should. Elaquent calls G-Town (sorry, I have no idea what Guelph’s nickname is) home and has been making a considerable name for himself in that field over the last couple years.

I’ve been seeing E’s name popping up here and there over that time frame, and had even heard a few of his songs, but listening to his new EP, Parallel tells you all you need to know about why people are so enthusiastic about his work. Layered and pristine, Parallel finds Elaquent venturing into somewhat unfamiliar territory with this record as he chose to focus less on samples and more on “actual composition of everything so that my music feel more like songs, than just beats”.

It’s always a risk to take your sound in a new direction, but you can’t argue with the results here. The EP’s five songs are as hypnotic as they are knockin’ and they’d likely have your head nodding along even without the vocal slices E mixes in from time to time.

This EP is a great introduction to a guy who has been making some great music for a while now, but is likely better known outside Canada than he is here. Snatch up Parallel and help fix that.