Review Summary: Tua creates an intense emotional listening experience, mixing conscious rap with dubstep beats and electronic soundscapes.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Johannes Bruhns, since the age of twelve also known as Tua, is a german rapper and producer, who is also talented at playing guitar and piano. After recording a few demos and EPs, he released „Grau“ („Gray“) in 2009, which was soon to become a milestone in the german rap underground. The style of this album is very eclectic, ranging from r'n'b-style singing, aggressive rapping and layered vocal samples to acoustic interludes, dubstep beats and electronic soundscapes. Interesting fact about this, Tua did all of this himself, including mixing and mastering.
„Es Regnet“ („It's Raining“) starts the album off with an almost minimalistic beat, but quickly builds up, introducing the obligatory rain sample, then a nice bassline and the drums. The lyrics are conveyed with a self-directed aggression and revolve mainly around drug abuse and depression. The track has a total running time of seven minutes, but this is only the first half. What is so special about Tua, is displayed right around the three minute mark, where the track seems to stop. Shortly after, you hear a little child talking about depression. The end of their speech, „Man fühlt gar nichts mehr, man wird ganz gleichgültig und grau“ („You will feel nothing at all, you will become indifferent and gray“) is repeated through-out the rest of the track with layered vocal samples in the background, reminiscent to wailing, and interesting experimentations on the beat. „Es Regnet“ summarizes the style of the album pretty well for the most part.
However, there are other interesting aspects, I'd like to talk about, such as the hit of the album „MDMA“, short for „Magst Du Mich Auch?“ („Do You Like Me, Too?“) or MethyleneDioxyMethAmphetamin, just as you prefer to take it. Its lyrical content is, you guessed it, centered around drug abuse, but in an actually clever way, seeing as every line in this song could be ambiguously referring to the drug or one's girlfriend. This song also features a 9/8 metal riff with a sample of distorted guitars, similar to System of a Down's 5/4 in Question!. Another rhythmic „anomaly“, at least in this genre of music, can be found in „Unter Druck“ („Under Pressure“), in which Tua raps over a 7/4 signature.
Instrumentals are nothing special really, in any genre of music, but nevertheless, the two songs on here have to be mentioned. „Bezorientatsja“ consists of two parts, which are both repeated twice. The first part is a heavy electro tune with a pounding bass and glitches all over the place. The second part, in contrast, consists of melancholic vocal and string samples. „Viktor“ the other instrumental is completely different. The only instrument to be found here is the piano, but Tua played it in a way that it tells a story. There is a text in the booklet, which is meant to be read alongside hearing the track, but you don't actually need it to understand the message.
The mood of the album never really changes much, it stays depressing and cynical through-out, but it is conveyed in so many different ways, and with such an artistic finesse, that you won't believe you're actually listening to german rap.
...for those of you, who understand the language:
...for those, who don't: