12 Aug 2022
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Scalper - Single Review: Dust

30 Sep 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu

Nadeem Shafi, better known by his stage name Scalper, has been in and around the United Kingdom and Aotearoa hip-hop circuits for nearly three decades. Having performed under numerous rap groups and continuously releasing solo albums under his own moniker, he has not stopped creating. More recently renowned for his eerie and hyper-dark form of underground hip-hop, he is gearing up to release his fourth full-length album, entitled The Beast and the Beauty. Ahead of the 1 October release date, Muzic.net.nz’s Steve S got a good glimpse of new single Dust.

Like an intro to a punk song, a fuzzy, distorted guitar riff cuts an opening, while a cavernous tribal drum beat slowly pounds. Unconventional is Scalper’s style, and the use of this drum sound certainly is unconventional in the world of modern hip-hop, where often cookie-cutter electronic rhythms dominate. The bass layers are a thick mix of warmth and psychedelia, there are subtle electronic wobbles to help drive the deep groove. There’s also what seems to be sampled upright double-bass plucks, and when this acoustic sound is combined with the drums, give off a primal and world-music atmosphere. While slow, the depth in the rhythm makes the groove addictive and refreshing to experience.

Scalper is often known for his brand of dark, cryptic poetry, and on Dust he comments on the human condition in his usual fashion, reflecting on mankind in the form of a prayer to a natural entity. The raspy, baritone quality of Scalper’s voice matches the electric guitar samples perfectly, like an ancient spirit performing heavy metal spoken word.

“O my goddess, where art thou?
You’ve lost our way since we set out.

We took the reins and bound for war,

Slaughtered so much for the shine of gold.”

“Sacrifice is the price of want,
So here is dust, build what you must.”

Here, Scalper appears to offer meditations on material possessions, and one’s responsibilities in doing less of what we want to and more of what we ought to. The deep bass mix, earthly drum beats, and conscious verses make this both an intoxicating AND sobering listen, paradoxically. Personally, I believe this to be his best song yet. There are echoes of Massive Attack throughout this song, and the brooding and moody tone of the lyrics shouldn’t be unusual to the aforementioned UK group. Make no mistake, this is ultimately Aotearoa hip-hop (and possibly under the umbrella of trip-hop as well) at its darkest. Stripped of all pride, Scalper speaks. And dust stirs.

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

Other Reviews By Steve Shyu

n1ghtmar3cat - Album Review: Rat Race
05 Aug 2022 // by Steve Shyu
n1ghtmar3cat is Dave Johnston’s alter ego and solo project, when he’s not busy drumming for Villainy or co-DJing as Delivery Boyz. Under this moniker, Dave has been crafting releases and remixing for nearly four years, and has returned again with his brand new, sophomore album Rat Race.
Read More...
Gig Review: Blindspott @ The Trusts Arena, Auckland - 29/07/2022
31 Jul 2022 // by Steve Shyu
Still feels like a bit of a treat, walking into a large music venue. Having been through so many lockdowns and cancellations over the past couple of years, I felt both right at home yet also like I haven’t set foot at a big gig in a while.
Read More...
Krispy & The Pooch - EP Review: The Reckless Eclectic: Part One
25 Jul 2022 // by Steve Shyu
Waiheke’s electro-soul duo Krispy & the Pooch are back. And I don’t just mean back with brand new music, the lads relocated from Berlin back to little ol’ Aotearoa, and this new EP The Reckless Eclectic: Part One is the first produced and recorded on home soil.
Read More...
MELLIS - EP Review: Escape
14 Jun 2022 // by Steve Shyu
There’s been a retro-wave revival simmering around the world, with groups like Drab Majesty, Gunship, Perturbator, plus Kiwi artists PolarisRadio establishing themselves in various electronic and rock circles. Many have performed live to vast audiences and also racking up healthy amounts of plays on streaming platforms.
Read More...
Substax - Album Review: Linear Shift
26 May 2022 // by Steve Shyu
Those familiar with Kiwi dub and breakbeat music will likely be familiar with the name Substax, the electronic musical duo consisting of Nick Farrands and Claudia Gunn, who have been in the scene for well over twenty years. And those not yet familiar with Substax will undoubtedly get a good introduction with their newest full-length release Linear Shift.
Read More...
LVST Night - Single Review: Roller
03 May 2022 // by Steve Shyu
Having recently nailed down releases with the sensational The Not Okays, as well as the mind-twisting alt-rock outfit MIRA, guitar player and songwriter Nori Wong has continued to keep himself occupied. Now trying his hand at producing electronic music, Nori has emerged under a new moniker, LVST Night.
Read More...
Sonic Space Lab - Single Review: Coming Out On The Other Side
26 Apr 2022 // by Steve Shyu
Based in Dunedin, Venezuelan producer and sound engineer Luis Rodriguez has been amongst the Aotearoa music scene since 2018, and he doesn’t appear to have lost steam along the way. His latest offering is entitled Coming Out On The Other Side, a new venture in which he places more focus on instrumental, electronic music and less on the structures of conventional songwriting.
Read More...
Lauren Gin - Single Review: Remedy Feat. Janayah
14 Mar 2022 // by Steve Shyu
Lauren Gin has her goals set high. She has confessed that ever since the age of 20 she’s determined to set her name among the world of Kiwi producers.
Read More...
View All Articles By Steve Shyu

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • DOJA
    Central Cee
  • I AIN'T WORRIED
    OneRepublic
  • BAD HABIT
    Steve Lacy
  • GLIMPSE OF US
    Joji
  • BIG CITY LIFE
    Luude And Mattafix
  • GO (GODDARD. REMIX)
    Cat Burns
  • RUNNING UP THAT HILL (A DEAL WITH GOD)
    Kate Bush
  • VEGAS
    Doja Cat
  • AS IT WAS
    Harry Styles
  • I LIKE YOU (A HAPPIER SONG)
    Post Malone And Doja Cat
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem