Pax and Pry
A Day Off


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
March 12th, 2009 | 16 replies | 6,129 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Channeling Detroit, jazz, and an old record crate, A Day Off is decidedly European and definitely dope.

It might sound completely odd, but it’s nonetheless true; Europe craves hip-hop. While Black Milk has barely even reached notable levels of local rapport, incredibly, his shows sell out across the Atlantic. When a young generation is obviously this absorbed with a new popular trend, it’s a perfect time for the local scene to get involved – Snowgoons’ Black Snow and Dela’s Changes Of Atmosphere made a statement in 2008. Ranging from dark and industrial to light and jazzy, respectively, both releases proved that Europe can mimic American production styles. Dutch MC Pax and producer Pry go beyond this conception, realizing a futuristic hip-hop vision while completely taking this reviewer by surprise.

Name a few European MCs... now, exclude the British ones (the cultured American hipster might have been thinking, “The Streets, duh”). Done trying yet? Well, MC Solaar is a fairly international phenomenon that’s easily overlooked – which isn’t too hard, as most Commonwealth derived nations speak English, not French. The lyrical half of the Pax & Pry duo, Pax, deserves notoriety of this sort; a non-native English speaker, he (surprisingly and absolutely) kills the mic on A Day Off. A heavily American influenced tone permeates his style – one could easily confuse the abstract musings on the short “Semi-Awake State” for a distant cousin of Royce da 5’9” or half-brother of Aesop Rock, whereas the bouncy follow-up “Wake Up” hypothesizes the bastard child of Andre Benjamin and Slug. In short, Pax has his own unique style, drawing upon available raw elements and melody like a Dutch Captain Planet of rap.

Pry, maker of fine beats, comprises the other half of A Day Off, the half that truly separates the release from the contemporary median. The Fantastic Planet-esque noise and 70s funk bass of “Theories” is the backbone to a hi-hat beat and melodic Pax chorus – a perfect precursor to eastern-influenced “Dirty it Up Some”. These beats channel the US’s most progressive and more; laced with an admirable appreciation for jazz, a decidedly European electronic component infiltrates the compositions… in a very good way. The highlight here is “Love Shit (Take it High)”, with no hesitation. Epic, funky, and hard, this is easily one of the best tracks of 2009 – Pry’s beats and high-flying synths blend seamlessly into a round-style vocal chorus, setting up a perfect source of ammunition for a Pax assault. Album namesake “A Day Off” provides a fitting sense of closure with a smooth, jazz-laden beat; the xylophone solo is a treat, a captivating, yet quiet ending.

While the Netherlands may not be the best market for forward-thinking hip-hop, it’s probably as good of a place as any. With impressive chemistry and fantastic ideas, Pax & Pry bear the torch of 21st century hip-hop well; give them another couple years and they’ll be a real part of the Dilla-Madlib-Black Milk pantheon. The best part? A Day Off is offered as a free download at their website, [url]http://www.paxandpry.com[/url]. Do yourself a favor, before you go cruising downtown after work… cop this and get it into your transportation device in any way possible – even then, after Friday passes, you’ll still have a day off.



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 12th 2009



4938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is my favorite hip-hop album of the year so far... slightly edges Never Better and Abundance. There's something wrong with the url code I used, but you can get the album here: www.paxandpry.com

MassiveAttack
March 12th 2009



2688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I remember watching La Haine (a French movie) and one of their are a few scenes in it that depict french hip-hop music its fantastic, even if I have no idea wtf they're talking about (besides the "Fuck the police" line). If you haven't seen the movie I recommend it!

MassiveAttack
March 12th 2009



2688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh and one a side note I'll check this out. Fantastic review as always sir.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 12th 2009



4938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah mc solaar is definitely tight.

my gf liked this album, and she's like the pickiest person ever.

Willie
Moderator
March 12th 2009



15875 Comments


You write really well, I just can't get into modern hip-hop/rap (except Tech N9ne).

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

SynGates
March 12th 2009



2467 Comments


Free downloads are always nice. Great review as well.

Tyler
Emeritus
March 12th 2009



7928 Comments


i get what you're saying but "Channeling Detroit" just sounds weird to me. Don't change it or anything though.This Message Edited On 03.12.09

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 12th 2009



4938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was thinking of saying Dilla instead of Detroit, but thought it would be cliche.

LF96
March 13th 2009



97 Comments


The Netherlands actually have quite a few forward thinking hiphop groups, and some of them are not that small. You should check out Pete Philly & Perquisite who are signed to Anti-, they rap in English too and the beats are fantastic. Opgezwolle is awesome as well, though they rap in Dutch, but it's worth it if only for the banging (and highly diverse) beats.

That being said, I'm gonna check this out, never heard of these guys.

PatchworkNeurology
March 13th 2009



352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Owchhh this is definatly some hot fire.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2009



17195 Comments


damn this is really REALLY good. most excellent review.

PatchworkNeurology
March 13th 2009



352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ha my friends keep asking me, "Where the hell do you find all this dope music?"

Ha I either say, "Infinant Hacks" or "That hookup thats hidden in plain view"

Thank god for this website.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 14th 2009



4938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice dude, glad you're enjoying it.

Mikesn
Emeritus
April 24th 2009



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Impressive.

handoman
September 7th 2009



2380 Comments


this rules

MassiveAttack
October 21st 2009



2688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The beats and samples used in this are fantastic. Not a huge fan of the vocalists so far, but the others really detract from that.



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