label: itcfwak / halfway house

producers: evs

guests: deeskee, mane-one

Side A
1. Weight
2. Soul Searchin'
3. Observation
4. Beauty feat. Deeskee
Side B
1. Expectations
2. Analytical Terms feat. Mane-One
3. The Morning After
4. Breath Of Fresh Air feat. Mane-One


Shades Of Grey

Between being unheard and finding an appreciative audience, often only lies a tape. Frowned upon by the digital dupes, the tape always had and must have a special value to all hip hop fans. What would have been without mixtapes, or even more important, without the Cold Crush shows on tape, that went ghetto gold long before King Tim or 'the rockin' to the bang bang boogie' ever were released? The first hip hop recording was on a tape. So getting a recording that's strictly on the tape tip should be reminding you of this tradition and value much more than have you go 'dude's shit is so wack, he can't afford the pressing'. If this site proofs anything, then that there's a whole lot of dope stuff out there, that hits you from very unexpected places. And sometimes that stuff is on a tape. So don't judge the present by the wrapping. You knew that too.

This Subdivision human being returns on the solo path with the introspective "Shades Of Grey", a tape consisting of 8 self produced tracks and a whole lot of emotion. This starts with "Weight", that EVS opens with "I'm a lover of love but a hater of fate". With a flute moving this forward, the burden it carries can be too much for some strained shoulders, and EVS does not claim to be no colossus. We are going through a different chapter of the same book on "Soul Searchin'". The production of this is so well advanced, it's tragic it is not enhance by the best possible quality of the recording. Actually what's already evident is, that the fully thought out structures and characters the beats have, are of the kind, so much more likely to be hard from an artist that does not have to answer to any label, monetary or group members demands.

Being a watcher, EVS is able to do "Observation", but this also needs him to be a reporter, that can explain to us what's between the world's life lines. We are still wondering though, if he isn't talking so much more to himself than to us, that just accidentally seem to be hearing this. The piano and horns on this track once more result in a mighty good beat, that carries the cluster of thoughts with an ease and complete comfort. Finishing Side A, "Beauty" features Deeskee on the cuts. Just one more track that has us appreciate this more and more by the moment.

"Expectations" combines a cool guitar with an unneeded string section, while EVS unbothered by that continues with his session of turning his eyes inside out to look into the inside of him and to tell us what he sees. Maybe he's calling himself shorter than his full size would allow him too, and that only follows what other people are doing so quickly. Meaning that just like Jonny Cash (of says: 'people hate on everything, just give 'em a chance'. So some people are downplaying everything and you will never be able to live up to their demands. But ignore them, as their shoe sizes are different and their eyes will always be pointed in a different angle and direction than yours. EVS has found a person to share his space with though, when he connects with Mane-One, to do "Analytical Terms". We however are already progressing to the doper and dope "The Morning After", that's a pleasant waking up, much more than a day defining hang over. Again a piano is grabbing our attention first and moves forward in an almost dull fashion, what can be compared to the way one can smile and be content inside. The morning does also reflect the waking up of ones own conscious and acceptance of self introspectivity. However, this is also outspoken in a political kind of way. With "Breath Of Fresh Air" the recordings is about to end, and the smoothness of this gives us a kind farewell. There's a horn suddenly appearing and in the true sense, will blow you away.

One should feel uncomfortable to critique such an effort, because there's too much of a person in it, and so eventually one would critique the person. Or one would critique and review the diary he writes, his true believes and the way he sees the world. That is a not remotely excusable thing to do, there's no right in the world to do that. How can we dissect the being of a person? We can and will not. But we will end this here with saying that this tape has been a complete pleasure to listen to. With all that garbage that gets glossy releases nowadays, it's tragic that such dope music does not.

review: tadah the byk

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