Mathman x Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Hyp Hop

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This collaborative project between Irish music producer Mathman and the best brass band to come out of the United States, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble spans a lot further than just across the Atlantic. It takes the listener on a journey through the different sounds of hip hop music with masterfully crafted beats and rhymes that evoke thought and emotion.

For anyone who thought Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are nothing but a brass band, this album is the perfect introduction to the group’s vocal and writing skills. The lyrical content is often a reflection of their society and doesn’t necessarily just focus on the negative. Even when it does at times, it’s usually with hopeful outlook that offers solution or raises awareness.

Opening track and first single ‘Where I’m From’ has a joyous and celebratory feel to it. The emcees’s deliver their verses over the an simple, upbeat loop that is intricately layered. The subtle flipping of recognisable samples keeps the avid listener on their toes also.

There is a reason this project is called Hyp Hop. The production spans such a wide variety of sounds that covers many of the bases of hip hop music and Mathman is well more than competent enough to provide this vast soundscape. Whether it’s beatmaking, scratching or the overall crisp sound, he has clearly mastered all the elements of production. Looking at a list of his recent collaborators, it seems that he works with rappers who have done the same also, resulting in only quality music.

To be honest, there hasn’t been an album all year that feels as authentically hip hop as this one does. The music captures that sound in all capacities. The somber, reflective ‘Gain It All’, the paranoia-inducing ‘Streets’, the quintessential New York sound on ‘M.O.M’ all represent the different facets of hip hop at it’s finest, all the while keeping in line with the overall tone of the album. ‘Hyp Hop’ is essential listening for anyone with a massive love for, or even a passing interest in this music. For the latter, it’s harder to think of a better example for the genre to be represented by.

Get ‘Hyp Hop’ here