15 Jun 2024
UsernamePassword

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

Lester - EP Review: Lost and Found

28 Aug 2023 // A review by JamieDenton

Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland-based MC Lester (ex-Round Buddha) is not a new name within Aotearoa New Zealand’s independent music scene. Indeed, Lester has carved a distinct presence for himself since his early releases in 2017. From collaborations with prominent artists/groups such as Keith, Molly and the Chromatics, and Boombox Eulogy, to his previous releases under the alias Blunt Tape, Lester's creative journey has been one of collaboration and growth. Notably, his single Scene resonated profoundly within the lo-fi hip-hop community, capturing hearts and ears with its unique vibe. Given this rich musical history, it is somewhat surprising that this latest release, Lost and Found, is his debut EP.

Lost and Found, the EP's opening track, quickly establishes itself with a mesmerising, minimalist lo-fi hip-hop groove that immediately captivates and provides a solid bedrock for Lester’s lyrical finesse and deft wordplay. However, as quickly as the opening motif is established, it beautifully falls apart in a series of carefully, masterfully established bursts of musical energy that punctuate Lester’s rapid-fire delivery. This sonic canvas perfectly matches Lester’s lyrical flow and vocal exploration of contrasting moods – navigating seamlessly between brooding darkness and glorious light multiple times within the span of a single track. With the infusion of Fable’s additional vocals, the track takes on an additional depth, providing new tonal qualities that complement perfectly. As an opening track, Lost and Found is a strong prelude to the sonic expedition awaiting listeners in the rest of this release.

As the EP unfolds, another standout emerges in the form of Super Saturdays, which is a homage to the David Dallas-led initiative ‘Red Bull 64 bars’ in which rappers hit the recording booth and lay down ’64 bars’ of flow. A showcase in its purest form, Super Saturdays is set against a gentle, lush, near-trip hop groove. This incorporation of more jazzy influences within its loops adds to the immediate allure of the track. Amidst this musical backdrop, Lester's lyrical prowess shines, with evocative and playful wordplay woven throughout the rhymes. Delivered at a breakneck speed, it's easy to overlook the carefully embedded moments of wit and pop-culture call-backs, such as the unexpected line 'home alone like a McCallister', which adds a delightful playfulness to the narrative.

Ease, featuring the smoky, soulful vocals of Shellä, The Soul, expertly ushers in a change of pace, offering listeners a glimpse into a different, more introspective facet of Lester's artistry. This track serves as a delightful departure, unveiling a lovesick side of Lester that adds emotional depth to the EP's sonic journey. The song's groove seemingly drips with the essence of sun-soaked summers and provides a testament to Lester's remarkable versatility and musical prowess. This pivot showcases his ability to traverse diverse emotional landscapes and underlines his innate talent for crafting an auditory experience that resonates on multifaceted levels. The arrangement's fluidity, from the fervour of earlier tracks to the mellowness of Ease, contributes to the EP's dynamic storytelling, ensuring that listeners remain engaged and invested throughout.

All in all, this is a very strong EP release by Lester. It features some intriguing and well-realised collaborations and is a solid release that will become a favourite for many fans of lo-fi hip-hop, especially those who appreciate the sheer talent on display here.

 

About Lester

Tamaki Makaurau based MC, Lester, has been releasing music independently for the past 5 years. The budding rapper was 1/5 of neo-soul collective Round Buddah who were often seen playing venues around the country and the odd Summer festival (R&V, Tora Bombora). Lester has collaborated with the likes of psych-hip-hop group Keith, masters of rhythm & soul, Molly & the Chromatics and rap collective, Boombox Eulogy.

Lester's debut solo project Blunt Tape, released in 2016, was his first with underground beat-maker, Camo. The two have collaborated on many projects since, including his three most recently released singles centered around stream of consciousness, day-to-day and the mundane. Standout track, Scene was picked up by acclaimed label/channel Majestic Casual who featured the song on their Music to Feel Better To playlist. 2020 will see exciting things for the up-and-coming MC/rapper, with new collaborative projects and single releases lined up for the Summer.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Lester

Releases

Lost and Found
Year: 2023
Type: EP

Other Reviews By JamieDenton

EP Review: SD-2100 vs The World
05 Sep 2023 // by JamieDenton
Hailing from Kirikiriroa (Hamilton), the multi-talented artist Sam Densem has showcased his versatility across a spectrum of musical genres and styles. Sam's approach to his craft involves crafting distinct packages of music, each with its own unique flavour and character.
Read More...
Sonic Space Lab - Album Review: Cycles
20 Jul 2022 // by JamieDenton
Sonic Space Lab is the musical pseudonym of Dunedin-based, Venezuelan composer and sound engineer Luis Rodriguez, who some may know from his guitar work in Dunedin’s Tomahawk Radio. Having spent more than 20 years writing music for television, film, and advertising and collaborating with countless musicians in both musician and producer roles, Luiz Rodriguez turned his hand to Sonic Space Lab (also the name of his studio) in the mid-late 2010’s.
Read More...
Arrays - Single Review: Glass Traps
06 Jun 2022 // by JamieDenton
Auckland-based rock/metal act Arrays is the brainchild and ‘creative sandbox’ of musician/producer JP Carroll (ex-Armed in Advance, and currently also with Swerve City). Having known JP for a number of years, and having followed his career through Stitches, which became Armed in Advance, and then into Arrays and later Swerve City, he has consistently remained a strong creative force, a passionate and prolific producer and performer of music, and possibly kiwi-music’s most genuine, nicest, and most down to earth personalities (albeit one that is loaded with a plethora of terrible puns that he will unleash at any and all opportune moments).
Read More...
Speech Act Theory - Single/Video Review: Old Versus New
25 Feb 2022 // by JamieDenton
Initially conceived of as purely a studio project to fuse electronica with live drums and other instruments, Auckland-based alternative/electronica Speech Act Theory is the brainchild of producer/musician Pete Hickman alongside drummer Ben Bradford. With the project kicking off in the latter end of 2019 — which is probably not the greatest timing, with all the upcoming turmoil and disruption to live music etc.
Read More...
Steven Hue - EP Review: Assembly
15 Feb 2022 // by JamieDenton
At the start of December, I had the opportunity to review the double single Brainstare / Manatorquim by Tasmanian-based ex-pat Kiwi, Steven Hue. At that time, I noted that another three songs would be following shortly, and that, based on the strength of these original two, I was eagerly anticipating what this next batch would have in store.
Read More...
Floor Five - EP Review: The Garden
28 Jan 2022 // by JamieDenton
Indie-pop/rock band Floor Five are relative new-comers on the Kiwi music scene. Following up a couple of previous singles (2020’s Overthinking and 2021’s Strawberry Wine), the Wellington based four-piece’s partially crowd-funded EP The Garden was released just as the country returned to the red light setting of the Covid protection framework.
Read More...
Steven Hue - Double Single Review: Brainstare / Mantorquim
06 Dec 2021 // by JamieDenton
Ex-pat Kiwi now based in Tasmania, Steven Hue may be familiar to many through his previous work as former vocalist and co-writer for popular experimental band Full Code, his stint studying at the Nelson School of Music, or his commission work which has seen him produce work for art installations, short files, and video games. Turning his hand to solo electronic music, Steven has just released a double single of two new tracks: Brainstare and Manatorquim.
Read More...
Stray Theories - Album Review: This Light
07 Oct 2021 // by JamieDenton
Based in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australian musician/composer Micah Templeton-Wolfe has a long, successful history with crafting works that explore rich, lush melodies within vast ambient, cinematic soundscapes. While some of his works have become the soundtracks to independent short films, television and radio commercials, multimedia projects, art installations, and specifically commissioned sound design or compositional pieces, he has also maintained an interest in releasing material as a musical artist.
Read More...
View All Articles By JamieDenton

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • HOUDINI
    Eminem
  • MILLION DOLLAR BABY
    Tommy Richman
  • PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
    Sabrina Carpenter
  • BIRDS OF A FEATHER
    Billie Eilish
  • ESPRESSO
    Sabrina Carpenter
  • A BAR SONG (TIPSY)
    Shaboozey
  • TOO SWEET
    Hozier
  • I HAD SOME HELP
    Post Malone feat. Morgan Wallen
  • NOT LIKE US
    Kendrick Lamar
  • LUNCH
    Billie Eilish
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