20 Dec 2018

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Esoligh - Album Review: Brightness Sparks

08 Jul 2018 // A review by James Castady-Kristament

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Brightness Sparks by Esoligh is a 14-track album of conscious boom bap. The album runs for 54 minutes. All the tracks have a guest artist featuring and contain lush production and intricate beats, where every song is skilfully, and no doubt painstakingly crafted.

Esoligh raps from the heart about personal thoughts to the point where listening to this album feels like reading his diary. He literally has put his heart and soul into his work. Brightness Sparks presents you with mastery on many levels. Easily digested on a first listen, it only grows from there. On every subsequent listen Brightness Sparks reveals layer upon layer of thought provoking content.

Esoligh's rap style embodies who he is completely. He raps in a NZ accent and adds Maori language in many of his raps. One of my favourite hooks from the album is from his song Community where he proclaims “Community means everything to me. Everyone together working Ko Tahi, Ko Tahi Tanga is the way of my Mahi. Which translates as “Collective action is the way of my work”. This ethos certainly shows in the talent that Esoligh has pulled together on this album.

He's spared no effort in backing up his album with the most talented of collaborators. Fourteen to be specific which I will spare you from listing, but I can say that the album features Scizzorhands on scratching duties. Scizzorhands is one of the most insanely tastiest Hip Hop DJ’s in NZ.

Brightness Sparks is refreshing in many ways. A work of complete transparency and honesty in the lyrics. Beats of lush boom bap that fly in the face of a vastly changed Hip-Hop landscape of mumble rap and new wave Hip Hop. Esoligh is doing him and doing a fantastic job at it.

This album is masterful and highly enjoyable and in my opinion a well-crafted gift to New Zealand Hip Hop.

Check it out on Bandcamp here.

Review written by James Castady-Kristament


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