“Please, pull up a pen and a pad and prepare to be schooled” proclaims the stage introduction that precedes Never Say Goodbye; the silky, cut laced intro beat of South London rap cat Parallax’s debut EP Depth Perception. For many debut EPs that would be a bold, even foolish claim to open with, but it’s quickly apparent that Parallax isn’t one of the many. A one man juggernaut encompassing lyricism, production, engineering and just about everything else you need to get by in this internet savvy musical era, he’s honed his craft meticulously over the past few years both in the studio and on London’s stages, not just doing it all but doing it all well. Very well in fact, the kind of well that makes you wonder if his days are twenty six hours long. He may have already lived up to that claim when he dropped the video for the releases leading single Hip Hop Philosophy, a black and white epic expertly filmed and matched to the beats hefty drums and gritty 90s vibe underneath his scene slapping verses celebrating true hip hop, but if not the other four vocal tracks on Depth Perception definitely further the cause.
Launching energetically from the more laid back beat and mellow cuts of Sam Zircon’s Hip Hop Philosophy into the only other track not produced by Parallax himself, Fredo’s Strength bounds in through up beat cuts and a booming break. Inspiring a higher level of bold energy in Parallax’s flow, attention snatching brass and the faultless vocal snatches we’ve already come to expect from young producer Fredo allows Parallax to continue the swaggering momentum he’s built, something that carries on to an extent even through the more contemplative beat and hook of Walking On. From here on in it’s all Parallax, his crisp boom bap production highlighting just how much he’s refined the different elements of his craft into one solid entity. After the sea shore atmospherics of Walking On’s outro, Rat Race brings a more thoughtful nature to the release as he contemplates the nature of the beast and consumerist society over the beats naturally introspective vocal hums, the hook standing out as perhaps the EP’s finest; a slightly droning sound drawing you in to it’s atmosphere.
Finishing with the melancholic strings of Justice as Parallax debates the legal system, the final track adds a further element of philosophy that provides variety to an EP that got it’s chest puffing out of the way early, highlighting Parallax’s credentials and skills in it’s inception so that by the time he delves into issues deeper than Hip Hop his thoughts come across with authority and confidence. As it’s outro skit fades in and out, the nature of the EP’s flow and structure shows it’s worth, Parallax’s policy of having almost complete artistic control making for a release that’s incredibly cohesive and well thought through. From perfectly mastered adlibs and vocals to beats truly reminiscent of the nineties, his second to none lyrical content adds the final flourish to an incredible accomplished debut release. Do not sleep on this one, Parallax is a different breed and his tireless dedication to the craft puts him miles ahead of many around him already. Listen below an cop it in either CD or digital format from his Bandcamp.
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