Review Summary: No longer Dalek-lite
K. describes his creations as "Static-laden Black Shi
t" on his website. This is no stretch from the truth, as Sana Sana
is a bleak, dystopian vision of hip-hop, improving upon nearly everything that made his 2009 debut unpolished. Declaring oneself a practitioner of a new sub-genre is a bold and typically requires innovation to some degree. The Responsive Chord
was moderately successful in proving K.'s claims to "post-rap"dom. While it was, at times, a scatterbrained mish-mosh of influences, it also showed promise with unconceited yet insightful lyricism, and satisfactory employ of various electronic production techniques. The follow-up truly expands this post-rap envelope in virtually every way: the overall record is cohesive and focused, a continuous product from start to finish. Opener "Sana" sets the stage with static-soaked melodic meanderings that dematerialize into noise, yet reintegrate; a pulsating, dank beat sets the tone (and compositional strategy) for much the rest of the record.
The metamorphosis K. undergoes here is just the needed impetus for nearly any budding artist, struggling to differentiate themself from being just another promising local act. Sana Sana
takes every past criticism and integrates them into a neatly improved package that shows real innovation in hip-hop. Instead of being one sub-genre laden with static and noise on any given track, the new formula effectively combines these influences. Industrial, hip-hop, ambient, post-whatever, it's all here in an especially apocalyptic, electronic future. Album closer "Sin" really set expectations high after being leaked last year, yet every track follows suit effectively. "Olvides" offers psychotic mutterings in a sea of synths, whirs, and trip-hop reminiscient beats, while readying the listener for the first set of offerings where K.'s mic skills take center stage. Possibly an additional by-product of improved production, the actual rapping is greatly improved from The Responsive Chord
in that nothing hints at a remote possibility of being rap-rock. K. is anxious and frantic, technical yet leaning more towards alliteratives than multi-syllabic rhymes and verbose vocabulary.
While the new offering succeeds in correcting major flaws from The Responsive Chord
, there are still a few minor complaints that will hopefully be addressed in upcoming releases. First and foremost, sometimes the distortion feels either overdone or unplanned, almost like the recording levels have topped out. The production formula is nearly there, and knowing exactly when to blast the listener's synapses with noise will go a long way. Additionally, the megaphone effects are used too liberally for the vocals; K. is a very solid rapper and even vocalist (ie the spoken/sung "Cukoy") and should always flaunt these skills. Again, the megaphone effect works very well in certain situations, but is definitely unnecessary 100% of the time.
is, without hesitation, static-laden black shi
t straight from the maw of the abyss. K. is blazing undiscovered territory territory here above and beyond anything close relatives Dalek and Oktopus have offered. At this rate, his next release will be remembered for years to come. Expect big things; I will be completely dumbfounded if he is not scooped up by a nationally renowned experimental hip-hop label.
Buy Sana Sana