Se Fire- Match in the Ocean
Durkle Disco have just released a debut album from Se Fire, a five track crew featuring Sosé on production and lyrics, where he bounces rhymes back and forward with Mistafire, DJ Snafu on Cuts, Jamileh Lee on vocals and Ollie Weeks engineering. Created between 2001 and 2009 and dug from the Bristol Hip Hop crates, something I’m glad they thought to do, it’s a ten track offering, with generally long tracks that give a real album feel. Generally downbeat but always incredibly vibing, it’s a head nodder that’s intensely critical of inner city life and the way we live in the Western World in general.
‘If your killin then your killin man your killin for free’
Delving into topics such as substance abuse, on the opening track Poison, and warmongering, over the emotive pianos and dark beats of Tell No Lies, it’s a fairly well trodden path. What really switches it up however, is the incredible beats, at times bordering on deep dubstep, that create intense progression throughout the tracks and are often allowed to breathe, accompanied by the tight cuts of DJ Snafu. This allows you time to really think about what they’re saying and get into the vibe of the tracks, showing a skill in knowing when not to spit that to me is as important as knowing when to. The vocal talents of Jamileh Lee also help add variety, creating a feel similair to Source in Queens English (albeit less jazzy and more down beat), with beautuful female vocals that really polish the tracks off.
Right from the the intro of the opening track, Poison, where muffled drums under melancholic strings drop into a really nice beat with some dope scratches from DJ Snafu, it’s obvious that it’s going to be deep and emotive. They sustain this throughout right to the last track, Steppa, where it finishes with a bang over the most bouncy, dubby beat with a raspy bassline, quick flows and much faster, more jagged cuts that end things on a high.
“I’m hoping that the earth don’t fall apart so we can move to the stars an contaminate cosmos”
As I say, I’m really feeling how they let the beats breathe, something demonstrated well in the long intro to Red Lights where keys smoothly float under Jamileh’s incredible vocals and echoing drum clicks that eventually drops into a dark, hoarse beat. By the time you reach the first verse, just shy of two minutes in, you’ve already been sucked deep into the track so it hits with a bang and makes you really listen to what he’s saying. It’s one of the most abstract tracks in terms of lyrics so, being very much about a vibe rather than such an obvious message as other tracks, this technique works well here as your much more open to it.
This thoughtful nature and well constructed element of the beats also really comes out in Speed of Time where it bulks itself up with reverberating drums and sirens that provides really nice variety right in the middle of the track before dropping back down again for the second verse. The reverbed, metallic voice behind the main hook (which is probably my favourite hook on the album) is also another example of little touches in production that really add the final touch to this release and set it apart. The lead track, In Every (which you can read more about here), also finishes off with an intense dubstep section that really punches home the whole track and is perhaps the most original of the lot. Sections of almost silence snatch your attention and show how Sosé can take you exactly where he wants with the beats.
My favourite track has to be Dawn of the Dead where a heavy, elongated kick works really well with plucked strings works really well underneath a massive amount of elements that show a great understanding of layering and never once sound cluttered. Both MCs smash this beat as well. The one MC feature comes in the form of Sir Plus with a really sick flow in the opening verse of The Great Escapists where slapped bongo drums, epic violins and faster vocals from Jamileh create a slightly more up beat vibe towards the end of the album. This is something the title track, immediately after, brings back down again with twangy strings before the aforementioned Steppa brings it up again to finish off.
“Yer we meditate, so after life we’ll levitate, no demise and rise to the heavens gate”
It’s a really heavy album that had me deep into it from start to finish. The two mc’s compliment the beats perfectly, something that’s obviously a major advantage of in house production, and work well together, providing adlibs and generally staying on the same page to ensure relevance and consistency in tracks. The beats are, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned, epic and the well chosen scratch samples in Snafu’s cuts, accompanied by Jamileh’s vocals that never fail to capture the essence of the tracks, really ensure they’re finished off nicely. Considering it was made between 2001 and 2009 as well, it’s incredibly forward thinking at a time where most beats where much more simple MPC loops (not that I don’t love the charm of that style, but this does provide something different). It’s hip hop that will appeal to electronic music heads and generally people not so involved with the hip hop scene while also resonating with those within it.
You can pick it up early from the Durkle Disco Bandcamp for a meagre £5 or it drops in other outlets on 20th August.