Thursday, June 12, 2008

Reviews:: Dragon Fli Empire - Intermission EP

Let's keep all this Alberta love flowing! If you know my history, you know I've always had plenty of love for Alberta hip hop, and the feeling is clearly mutual as the Albums keep flowing eastward for the hill review treatment. The latest such album is the Intermission EP from Calgary's Dragon Fli Empire, comprised of MC Teekay and DJ Cosm.

This is the group's third release since forming in 2002, and based on the down-to-earth quality on display here, you can see why they've developed a loyal following in their hometown. You can count me amongst that following now for sure, as Intermission is the kind of golden-age inspired hip hop that will always be a winner with me. Teekay is a confident MC with an east to digest flow who writes lyrics about everyday issues (you know, things 95% of their audience can relate to), but does so with a style that keeps things interesting. And there's scratching on almost every song! By an actual DJ! What a novel concept. I think it's been a while since I've asked why more hip hop records don't have scratches on them these days, but I suppose I just did.

The production on this EP is solid, if a little understated, but I think it matches Teekay's laid back flow almost perfectly. Both group members handle production duties with DJ Cosm producing 3-4 tracks and Teekay twiddling the knobs on the jazzy Tribe vibes of album opener Hi-Fli which serves as a nice history of the band up to this point. DJ Cosm's funky drums, the quirky cameo by Cadence Weapon, Kirby Small's guitar licks, and the soulful vocals of Lynn Olagundoye come together on Outside Inn and the result is so enjoyable we were pleased to include it on our Alberta mix.

Teekay breaks out some solid 80's inspired fast raps on CGY, and runs down a breakneck trip through Cowtown for those not familiar with the groups hometown. Day Job is a fun ode to the way most Canadian artists (and bloggers!) pay the bills, and it gurgles with Moka Only's signature synths. Calgary producer Metawon provides the beats on the Headphones remix, which also features a fellow Albertan MC, the always-solid Touch. The sunny reggae vibes on Identiteye bring to mind some of the sounds on Politic Live's last album, another Albertan group that I enjoyed.

It's usually always a good sign when you feel an EP has gone by too quick and you're left wanting to hear more. That's how I felt after listening to the Intermission EP, so needless to say, I'm looking forward to a full-length from Dragon Fli Empire. For now, I suggest you check out this great little album, which just so happens to be perfect music for the sunny weather that has hopefully spread to your corner of the globe by now.

myspace :: web :: buy CD

Posted at 10:18 AM by naedoo :: 1 comments

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At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Ronatron did sayeth:

This is a nice break from the mainstream hip-hop we hear. It brings back the old-school element and it's very enjoyable to listen to. I guess scratching is now a lost art, but I'm glad they're bringing it back.


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