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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Quick Hitters:: Kwiz Massturrz

Kwiz Massturrz
I like Kwiz Massturrz. I do not like their name. I have already mis-spelled it in an impressive number of incorrect variations considering the few times I've actually written it. So I guess it's not their name I dislike as much as the spelling. However, we aren't here to discuss my spelling frailties, we're here to discuss this Ottawa/Montreal/T.O. based trio and their last album, Talkies Ruined My Life In The Pictures, that I've been meaning to shine some of that hill cyber-light on since last fall.

Since I came right out the chute telling you what it is I don't like about the Kwiz Massturrz, I'll dive right into what it is that I like about them. For starters, the production values on the album feel incredibly high hip hop for an indie hip hop release. Brothers Kwes and Owel Five handle the lyrical duties, but the production from James Hancock lured me in right away. It's lush, layered with what sounds like plenty of live guitar and other instruments, but easily maintaining a hip hop feel. As for Owel & Kwes, the thing that caught my ear was their brand of lyricism - their actual lyrics, concept and delivery - brings late 90's/early 00's underground hip hop to mind (catching a line like "I've been blazed High & Mighty for eons, you peons" certainly re-inforces that), and with everyone and their mom putting on some tight jeans & big tongued nikes to try and get their indie crossover-electro rap on, I have to respect anyone who makes the kind of hip hop they are passionate about.

And really, if you can make a conceptual hip hop song about Canadian silent-film star Mary Pickford as interesting and memorable as the Kwiz-krewe has, then you deserve some propers. But I don't mean to give you the impression that Talkies is all rap-nerd concepts, as there's plenty of good, old-fashioned backpacker hip hop, as the opening 1-2 punch of Avant Garde Rails and Baggage Claim, or the dual-flow goodness of Nintendo can attest. The speed-stutter of Dwarf Planet Rock is a perfect example of an electro-influenced beat that works perfectly, as it seems to suit the MC's to a T. The group is equally adept at more melancholy fare too, as songs like Knots Landing are also pretty engaging.

Listening to this album again reinforces my initial enjoyment, and makes me think I should have got to it sooner. But no matter, I'm telling you about it now aren't I? Hopefully the Massturrz of Kwiz are hard at work on new material, but if you're in the market for some quality hip hop that hearkens back to a time when Anticon or Def Jux were likely the most relevant labels for hip hop fans who weren't up in the club, I'd give these fellas a go.

MP3:: Kwiz Massturrz - Mary Picford
MYSPACE:: www.myspace.com/kwizmassturrz

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Posted at 2:21 PM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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