17 Sep 2021
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Scalper - Scalper x Cisco - EP Review: Tangiers Sessions

23 Jul 2019 // A review by Jamie Denton

One of my favourite past-times is ‘crate-digging’, rummaging through the bargain bins for those elusive good albums that sit within. One such day, several years ago, I came across Scalper’s first album Flesh and Bones. That CD, with its moody, trip-hop-esque beats and hypnotic grooves held steady in my CD player for a long time, but somehow I lost track of Scalper after that album. So, when I got the opportunity to review his latest EP — a collaboration with French “beatmaker”, producer, engineer, and bassist Cisco, I was immediately intrigued and anxiously excited.

Recorded in Morocco, the Tangiers Sessions EP is the result of the two collaborators blending the sounds, groove, and sensations of that city to the familiar, mature, intriguing, and cool underground/downbeat hip-hop that Scalper is known for. Unfortunately, I am unfamiliar with Cisco’s previous work, so can’t comment regarding whether his work on this EP is stylistically consistent with his other work, but I have assumed (rightly or wrongly) that some of these new elements are brought in from his vast repertoire as a producer / engineer / bassist.

The EP itself is an intriguing beast; while the whole EP consists of four individual tracks, they are arranged into two sets of two songs. The first set, entitled A Moroccan Night provides a kinetic soundtrack to nocturnal experiences as compared to the more relaxed, sun-drenched vibes of the second set, entitled A Day at the Medina. The distinctive vocal fingerprint style of Scalper provides continuity and familiarity with his previous work, however, rather than resting on his laurels and continuously doing what he does best, Scalper continues to experiment vocally – this time demonstrating his singing voice on a few melodies. Such experimentation keeps this collaborative EP fresh and interesting.

My personal favourite track, Be My Heaven, effortlessly combines traditional Moroccan sounds, minimalistic downbeat grooves, thunderously deep bass-tones, and a vocal delivery that nearly God-era Tricky would have been proud of.

Overall, an intriguing collaboration and one that serves as a progression of the artists’ individual work, as opposed to a mere diversion like most collaborations.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Scalper

Scalper is Nadeem Shafi, born and raised in East London of Pakistani descent. First seen in Aotearoa New Zealand at WOMAD 1997 as the vocalist for the British band Fun-da-mental. Now based on the wild West Coast of Auckland, having moved here in 2007. Scalper is Hip-Hop like you’ve never heard it before. Moody, gritty beats with introspective lyrics that conjure visions of epic proportions, and an electrifying live performance that demands attention.




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Scalper

Releases

The Beast and The Beauty
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Want More
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Want
Year: 2017
Type: EP
The Emperor's Clothes
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Butchers Bakers
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Flesh & Bones
Year: 2010
Type: Album

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