A Rap Record
label: talc
production: cris cardiak
guests: sankofa, pronto, nick sweepah, kunga 219, flat fiasko, others.
year of release: 2004
1. Intro
2. Verbal Heart Attack feat. Astout
3. Burning Man feat. Sankofa
4. They Will Never Know feat. Pronto, Nick Sweepah
5. Lullaby feat. Kinga 219, Unleavened
6. La Question Du Jour
7. Nez  Nez Avec Un Mac' feat. Donkishot
8. Le Cirque Des Ténèbres feat. Lyam K'yen
9. Lebenslang feat. Flat Fiasko
10. No Comment
11. Wordplay feat. Astout
12. Be Water feat. Bermuda Triangle
13. First Blood Interlude feat. John B. Rambo
14. Alone feat. Tenjin, Avatar from Liquid Dimensions
15. LGO
16. Panda feat. Tea, Andi
17. Duction
There's probably only a few countries left that don't yet have a hip hop scene. Switzerland is not one of them. And while the international achievements and recognition are few and far in between - heck, they're somewhat limited to DJ Sebb doing beats for folks, Basle being one of the graffiti capitals in the world and the manager of the Fat Boys and Ed Lover & Dr. Dre being a Swiss (and yes, I'm leaving out some, like DMC competitors, breakdancers and other misc. people). That is despite the rap scene really bubbling and growing lately. And you may know groups like Sektion Kuchikäschtli, Luut & Tüütli, PVP, Brandhärd and many more.
Cris Cardiak now gears up to make sure the world is listening to something coming out of Switzerland that's not Yello's "Oh Yeah". That's why he teamed up with a bunch of artists, who - interestingly enough - are not all from Switzerland themselves, but rather from all over the place.
Everything starts out with "Verbal Heart Attack" featuring Astout, who get a couple of good lines about not caring how much they sell. And as proof, one dude offers to kill his fans, to even lower the number of sales. The beat is of the bouncy-straight up-rap type, and it gives us one of several different styles that Cris seems to have mastered. Well, mastered kinda suggests that he's really, really good at it. 'Really, really' would be an exaggeration, even though he's doing good stuff, and when you pay close attention, he puts a lot of care into his programming. There's always the odd and interesting detail that make the beat more than just a quickly thrown together offering.
The detailism, the quality of the samples, the always interesting drum patterns, all don't prevent a certain unimpressed conclusion to creep in though. All of the beats are pretty good, with pretty good being just about the maximum of praising it can achieve. Why? That's an interesting question. Maybe because there's so little soul on this record. Not meaning the music genre, but the inner spirit that is said to define a person. There's a certain clinical cleanness about the songs that overshadows the fact that Cris Cardiak is a good producer. Let's describe it like this: a cookie that was baked in a factory is probably really good. You'll like it and enjoy it, but it lacks character. A cookie that your mother baked - especially when she was in the mood to make cookies - just has a certainly something extra. That you cannot explain, but that you know that it's there, when it's there.
Now, this album is a factory product, and not a Mother's cookie.
Nevertheless, some of the highlights include "Burning Man" with Sankofa, where strings bounce off an electric static sound. Sankofa got an intensive beat for his intensive style, thus this is well matched. On the collaboration with the Canadian's Kunga219 and Unleavened on "Lullaby", where's a guitar dominating the beat, Unleavened - a woman - really captures our attention, once again, with her good voice and the more-poetry-than-rap flow. The beat on "Nez A Avec Un Mac" featuring Donkishot appeals with a hectic piano, and the one on "Alone" with a good violin sample and a musical determination. Plus the accent of the French speakers rapping in English is just kinda…uhm…charming. Cris' best achievement is probably "LGO" though, where the previously missing soul can be felt through all layers of skin. Here we find the love, the care, the everything that makes your mothers cookies the best of the world. Heck, "LGO" isn't the best song in the world, but it's a very good song. That's backed by "Panda" featuring Tea & Andi, which is better than the majority of the album.
So if this is the first ever record people will hear by a Swiss artists, Switzerland does not have to fret. This is nothing to be embarrassed about, neither for Switzerland as a scene nor Cris as an artist. Considering the artists he decided to work with, he proved to have a good ear for talented musicians. And with "LGO" he proved that he has the talent to do excellent music.
review: tadah
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