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Raw Collective - Album Review: For The Ancients

23 May 2018 // A review by Corinne Rutherford

Raw Collective, a twelve-piece Hip-Hop, multi-instrumental extravaganza from Wellington have teamed up with Flight Music Records and released their debut album For the Ancients.

Spearheaded by Raw Deezy, Raw Collective is a band of epic proportions which have been attracting people’s attention at gigs and festivals around the country since 2014. Picture if you can a big band sound, the beauty of brass, guitars, drums and sound samples, accompanied by a hip-hop beat and rap lyrics, alongside the stunning sweet jazzy vocals of Moira Jean. These groups of musicians have to be heard to be believed. Flawless arrangements and clever songwriting incorporates the personality of each band member in For The Ancients.

This monumental project was inspired by the bands love of history, the cosmos and psychology, plus their feelings and philosophies on the world. There is a deep and personal connection to everyone involved it seems “Each track reflects a different side of the psyche, a celebration of our personal struggles, of our friendships, and the music we’ve worked so hard to create!”

Eleven original tracks of funk infused hip-hop taking inspiration from many influences and genres.

For The Ancients is a mix of the old with the new, a feeling of soulful energy with clever rhymes. Memorable and honest storytelling to a hip-hop beat. Enriched by the sexy sound of a brass section. At times almost crossing boundaries into smooth folky grooves.  

Track one Into The Shadows, kicks things off with the cool sound of brass and a taste of what is to come with some very clever rapping from Raw Deezy and sweet dulcet tones of Moira.

As you weave your way through this album, the sounds of saxophones, trumpet, trombone, bass, guitars and drums resound in a full toned and captivating manner.

This is a complex album, where no attention to detail has been spared. It is confident and slick. Creative, theatrical and memorable with a solid beat which will get you up dancing from track one.  

Crowd favourite Smash The Grips is on there at track number five. This is the song which started my admiration for this band.  Pull no punches lyrics to a massive beat… “Even Gods have habits”

Before I continue, let me paint you a picture of the album cover. Bright purple and blue depicting an almost cartoonish scene of an ancient temple and monoliths. All in keeping with bands eclectic style and totally fitting of the title but giving no secrets away about what lies within.

The rich, complex and velvety sounds combined with that slick hip-hop beat just keep coming at you. Like an epic assault on your senses in the best possible way. My personal picks on this album are The Self (Part 1) a glorious jazzy number with Moira on vocals. This seaway’s effortlessly into The Self (part 2) incorporating the rap element and some cruisy guitar.

I thought I heard a mandolin in the opening of track 10 From The Seeds, it would not have surprised me, although there is some very clever sound bites and mixing going on throughout this album.  

For The Ancients is a straight up outstanding achievement, which I personally cannot find fault with. There are many different layers to this album, you may peel each complex layer back, but you will still end up with “the hip-hop skeleton”. 

“It is timeless, even monumental, like the pyramids”

★★★★★ (5 stars)


Review written by Corinne Rutherford

 

About Raw Collective

Raw Collective started when producer/emcee Raw Deezy was looking for a musician to help craft and create something new, and found what he was looking for in Pauly Plum. Local DJ Art-Official asked the pair to put together a live band to perform at Newtown Festival 2014. They called upon Jack Cromie, Blain Fitzpatrick, and Ben Hunt to build a foundation, and from there Raw Collective was formed.

After only 3 months this 9-piece Hip-Hop big band from Wellington City released their debut 6-track EP Wise Horizons; combining elements of Funk, Jazz, and old school Hip-Hop.

Raw Deezy and song-writer P.Plum kick the creative process off with record digging for unique samples to loop with drum beats. Then the melodies, bass, horn lines, and vocals are layered to create their full sound.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Raw Collective

Releases

For The Ancients
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Wise Horizons
Year: 2014
Type: EP

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