What does it say that a healthy portion of the new hip hop albums I’m the most excited to hear these days are often if the instrumental variety? Well I think it mainly says I’m a confirmed, curmudgeonly hip hop get-off-my-lawner, but I’d like to think that it also means there are plenty of talented folks in Canada making that kind of music.

Ryan Stinson is one of these talented folks. The Saskatchewan-based producer has been featured on the hill before, so his new EP FUTURA has been in my anticipated listens folder for a while now.

Now, after finally getting my ears onto it, I’m happy to report I wasn’t disappointed with the results. Ryan hinted at a new sound when he released the sinister-but-funky “Dissociative” late last year, and he has certainly delivered that. Pretty much all of the 5 tracks on offer here have a very lush sound, but with an almost futuristic bent. The sci-fi funk of EP opener “DeLoreon” is damn-well hypnotizing, while the ominous crashing drums and colliding vocal samples of “Move On” (before it shifts into more of an uptempo, breakbeat) make it perfect for the soundtrack of some film set in a dystopian Britain.

After my opening screed, it seems odd to say that my favourite track on this record is the one with vocals, but I can’t help it. “Melt” finds Halifax’s reigning MC champ Ghettosocks shining on a most un-Socks like track, recounting a harrowing, wintery tale of a bullied girl and her response to her tormentors. It’s a riveting song, and makes great use of the kid’s choir Stinson (and hill-fave mikedecline, who lent a hand on a few songs) recruited to contribute to a few songs.

Speaking of that choir (Vancouver’s Henry Hudson Elementary School Choir to be precise), Stinson is donating 50% of any money donated to the album to them, so do a good deed and send a few dollars his way.

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MP3:: Ryan Stinson - Melt (ft. Ghettosocks)
Web:: music.phonographique.com