Review Summary: Purity of thought seldom heard or felt through music as a vessel
[Courtesy of Fake Four Records, Flowers For My Father
is available to stream here in advance of its February 19th release date: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/blog/2013/02/18/sadistiks-flowers-for-my-father-stream/
On October 17th, 2010 Micheal Larsen, aka Eyedea or Oliver Hart, was found dead of accidental prescription overdose by his mother and fellow emcees Kristoff Krane and Sadistik. An inspiration to many, his passing shocked not only the local community and hip-hop scene, but also fans and friends throughout the world. While an unfortunate, unfair, and senseless tragedy, Larsen's legacy lives on not only by his living actions - Eyedea's emotionally charged music, unique lyricism, and deeply personal content have influenced an entire generation of musicians. Protege Cody Foster, aka Sadistik's sophomore LP is an extraordinary example of the breadth of Oliver Hart's touch. A titular dedication to his late father, Flowers For My Father
takes this singular, poetic formula through a natural evolution, using his influences with conviction while expanding the sonic envelope and expectations of his craft.
Lyrically, Foster gets to the point immediately on "Petrichor" (likely the only non-black metal track ever made under this title) with a poignant introspection of his father's death via spoken word outro. "Snow White" offers one of the most rapid-fire verses this side of Eyedea's grave, while "Micheal" is a stirring, genuine dedication to the very same person, conceived "to convey that Micheal was a good human being and friend, not Eyedea was [just] a good rapper" per a recent interview with the Minneapolis City-Pages
. Besides an incremental improvement in diction (he's not even 25 yet and verbal skills only improve with age), the real progression from 2008's The Balancing Act
is his increasingly experiential approach to exposition and much more focused content. The new LP finds Sadistik with more of a cause than just pure introspection and soul-searching. Fellow indie-rappers Cage and Astronautalis lend their talents in very much the same manner to their respective verses on "Russian Roulette" and "Exit Theme", emphasizing the very substance of the record.
But the defining factor that can make or break any hip-hop record is production and compositional quality. Where his last efforts relied heavily on soul samples and a generally derivative (but well-done), subdued boom-bap skeleton, Flowers For My Father
nearly brushes this safe formula aside with the epic, synth-soaked orchestrations of Blue Sky Black Death setting a much more intimate stage on "Russian Roulette", "City In Amber", "The Beast", and "A Long Winter". These progressive techniques infiltrate a majority of the beats throughout, with affiliate Raised By Wolves (by way of cousin Nacho Picasso) lending his talents as well as esteemed Sputnikmusic user/ producer of the Cunninlynguists Kno and soul-council member Eric G. Overall, this effort is a lot more cohesive between thematic intent and production, emulating a truly dark atmosphere that could quite possibly be from the very recesses of Sadistik's soul.
Music as a collective body needs more records like Flowers For My Father
to stay grounded in life - records that not only confess the vulnerability of the artist, but use the opportunity to expose the very essence of humanity. Who knows if Sadistik will be remembered after he's dead and gone; the best we can hope is that his sentiments inspire those that come after and maintain this kind of purity of thought seldom heard or felt through music as a vessel. Hats off to Fake-Four Records and label head Ceschi Ramos for taking in fledgling artists like Sadistik or Dark Time Sunshine and giving them a real opportunity to not only succeed, but also preserve the art of hip-hop.