One way to clarify the quality of any artist is the state of any tracks that didn't make it on to a particular album. Thay can range from a bunch of slapdash, random garbage, to polished, excellent efforts. But rarely is there an arguement for a collection of such tracks to actually be better than the original release. With raiders Of The Lost Archives, Kashmere now has that burden. This is in no way a slight on In The Hour Of Chaos (which is a very good album), at all. But such is the consistant quality of the tracks on Raiders that I have to wonder what other hidden gems are there floating around the YNR offices. Check this production list: Ghost, Zygote, Jehst, LG, DJ IQ & Jazz-T. UK peepz should now be salivating & If you don't know, get familiar. As usual Kasmere goes deep with his, painting deep & vivid portraits of life, good versus evil, the dark arts & a lot more in between. The tone for what's to come is set immediately with the opening chants of The Genesis, 'The sea turned black, the rivers turned red, the sun turned cold, the beats turned pale....'. Then the niceness begins when a chopped synth & cello sample is accompanied by a snapping snare & kick pattern. Through the Jazzy backdrop of Power Up to the ridiculously ill piano & Drums of Poison to the out there vibe of Red Monkey, the niceness continues unabaited. Then the bar is raised further still by Drunken Style. Kashmere, Severe & Baron Syn Back, braggadociously (?) ride a superbly sparse beat held together by short vocal samples & a nicely flipped hook. The level is maintained by the lovely darkness of Nightmare. Eerie strings & scarily warped b-line allow Kashmere to let his demonic/imaginitive side come to the fore, with lines like 'Running children got the vomit, devilish whipper snappers hitting grannies with the drop kick'. Right the way through to the final bonus track on the album, these so called cut away tracks don't let up. The way the samples are used on 1 of my 2 favourite track on Raiders. The Jazz, is just superb. As for the other fav, What Would Happen? Kashmere spins 1 of his otherwordly stories about a new kind of herbal remedy (if you catch my drift). I can only imagine that the subject matter of some of the tracks didn't fit the darkness of ITHOC. Adding the fact that some of these tracks are 3 years old only makes this release even better. Kashmere is arguably the most imaginitive MC we have on these (UK) shores. So when he is accomanied by great beats, as he is all the way through this album, the results are of a superior brand of niceness. Enjoy the taster peepz.
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Kashmere - Raiders Of The Lost Archives selection