Abstract Patterns is the fascinating debut album from U.K. MC, Chillman. It provides an exciting view into the mind of one of the most promising MC’s in England. His lyricism combined with the production by Verb T makes this an album that slowly pulls you closer before spilling out it’s secrets. Chillman has released a number of mixtapes, featured as part of his crew “Verbal Highz” and rose to prominence after meeting Verb T at a open-mic competition in Bournemouth. This album took two and a half years to make and perfect. After just one listen you can tell why.
It opens with “Patterns”, a song that slowly builds and eases the listener into the album and makes them understand from the get go that this is where you need to start to pay attention. What follows is 38 minutes of emotion. The bareness of the production allows the listener not to be distracted from the stories that Chillman wants to tell. The album flows so freely and beautifully throughout and the link-up between songs is perfect. The themes of the album are wide ranging, from Chillman discussing his use of music as a painkiller, people believing in his art, his efforts to reject falling into gangs, his hometown of Hereford and dealing with a very bad hangover.
Throughout the album you get the feeling that this it has been fine-tuned so every little detail is fleshed out. The use of sampling, of prank calls and air hosts, gives the listener a chance to take a breather from the serious topics discussed in the music and acts as a sort of comic relief. The piano led instrumentals also add a live feel to it and helps the listener feel more attached to the album as a whole. Verb T’s production and his use of instrumentation really takes the electronic aspects out of the equation and this allows it to have a more traditional feel the entire project.
Overall this is a very competent and impressive debut album. It will offer Chillman a lot of avenues to go down for future releases. At times however the listener was left looking for a chorus to cling to that will be remembered after the album closes but that is something that can be developed and something to improve for album number two. We’ll have to see if that album can reach heights that his debut has.