20 May 2022
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Scalper - Single Review: Toxicity Toxifies

08 Nov 2021 // A review by Steve Shyu

There appears to be no down-time for artists like Scalper. Album after album, one impressive single after another. It was only mere months when his track Silence Speaks was released to the universe, now the man is back again with a follow-up song, the second from his forthcoming album The Shine.

In my previous reviews of Scalper’s music, I’ve described it as a blend of Maxi Jazz from Faithless’ vocal style blended with Massive Attack atmospheres, and on this new song he’s maintained that crooning, brooding utterings. However, on Toxicity Toxifies things feel more jovial.

The usual dark vibes are replaced with upbeat, urban, mid-tempo rhythms, a shift away from the works many might associate with Scalper. A heavy 80’s and early 90’s hip-hop feel is evident here, thanks to the bouncing grooves of the bass, strummed guitar chords, completed with sampled vocals of a number of children calling out the song’s namesake phrase, “Toxicity! Toxifies!”.

As part of Scalper’s style, the lyrics are both introspective yet cryptic, and nothing short of poetic. The verses are phrased deftly so the words all glide and stride with the groove of the drumbeat. However, it’s perhaps the chorus that’s the most intriguing; words of the sampled youthful voices cry out “poisoning” and “intoxicating”, over a very uplifting instrumental backing track, creating a deeply striking juxtaposition.

Could these aspects mark a new direction one could expect on his new album, adding a different tone to his repertoire? Let us wait and see.

Fresh off the press, Scalper has yet again delivered something different. A move away from his signature style, but is still of the same creative calibre. A markedly upbeat-sounding hip-hop tune, timed perfectly ahead of the warm months coming.

Rating: ( 4 / 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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