Strange Game
$TRANGE GAME$


4.5
superb

Review

by OvDeath USER (2 Reviews)
June 2nd, 2014 | 13 replies


Release Date: 11/18/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: $TRANGE GAME$ is an incredibly impressive debut album that is sure to please any hip-hop fan with a taste for the experimental and anyone with a taste for a sharp tongue and witty lyricism.

Expermentalism in hip-hop is becoming more and more prevalent in recent times with the rise in popularity of alternative rap groups like Death Grips and OFWGKTA. These artists are offering unique styles of hip-hop, even if they aren’t exactly boiled down to a refined and sparse flow of releases. Usually, these groups thrive off on bringing out a constant flow of material that defines “hit or miss”. Calgary’s Strange Game is a duo focusing on an experimental style of hip-hop that boasts a range of influences in their eclectic style, but their debut album $TRANGE GAME$ feels much more focused and thought out than any other experimental or alternative groups in recent memory; it’s not sloppily put together or just churned out half-baked for the sake of being different. Comprised of Martyr McFly and Ill Spectre, the duo can range from spitting machine gun bursts of rapid rapping to more laid back and relaxed spoken word amongst a plethora of beats and styles.

Throughout the album’s first eight tracks, there’s the idea of Green Team: green being the colour of both war (and, inevitably, death) and of life. Green Team represents the rap game the two musicians play; a paradoxal excursion through the minds of Spectre and McFly. White boys in a black man’s genre, drugs and other vices destroying their users but proving to be essential to their creative energies, the contradicting and conflicting nature of different themes that, despite their differences, seem vital in their juxtaposition of each other. One cannot exist without the other. Throughout the Green Team segment, the music is all over the place, and ultimately, it doesn’t sound like it should work. But it does work. As each song flows into the other, it’s natural and compelling. Whether it be from ‘We Win’, a song based around thick, bouncing electronic beats and in-your-face rapping and vocal effects, to the more jazz-hop influenced (think A Tribe Called Quest or Digable Planets) ‘Siz Boom Pop’, a track with much more chilled lyrical projection, the music just seems to blend amazingly well. Both musicians have their strengths. Ill Spectre has an exceptional talent for creating an unnaturally rhythmic flow with his obtuse lyricism, and he’s aware of it:

“Max Huberdeau amassing uberflow with spitarific hutabristics
my cool flows will sooth your soul like yogurt on a dipstick
lip sync to my *** and feel your oral muscles grow
implore you all to toke and open your mouth as I dole out the truffles yo”


Martyr McFly’s execution is less surgical than Spectre’s, but more musical in terms of sound and vocal manipulation. It makes for an incredibly fun and interesting listening experience hearing his different vocal inflections as he bangs out a verse. Between the two rappers and their respective styles, it makes for an extremely potent mix found on $TRANGE GAME$. Both Spectre and McFly whip out lyrical hooks that are hard to forget. Ill Spectre’s verses are often mind boggling in their enforcement; the best example of his spitting intensity found on ‘Bold Contra Diction’:

“I pocket the time at the drop of a pine needle
I’m off the wall, thicken the plot by tying my dick in a knot
I’m a shaivite lost in the mall
vedic seer invading sears
slurping edo out of a skull
beheaded goat, bloodstained blade in the main aisle of the bay
I pop my shawl”


On the track ‘Win-Win’, which features Sudatsuga, the production takes a more industrial sort of turn with some world-influences. It makes for a musical style beyond “interesting”, the way the track progresses is unique and challenging, as the two rappers essentially “kill” each other during their verses before the track coalesces into melodic rhythmic completion:

Martyr McFly: “hydrogen cyanide will get you, Ill Spectre
broke a pill, spilled it out in your breakfast, lunch, dinner
I give you one verse before the first surge of rigamortis
will force you to forfeit Strange Games forever
sick ghost, for rilla”

Ill Spectre: “McFly, you heard the news? I’m out to make ya a martyr
stepping to Spectre was a wack cause to die for since the start, sir
used to kill impersonally until I met McFly
you see a Spectre such as I resides on high outside of time
Martyr, a mere mortal, opened the temporal portal,
jumped inside to hop ahead in time, I said fine
ya lil scamp on your lil plank, you can go on right through
just then the ***er leaked his rocket fuel on my new shoes
he issued a duel and I laughed at the fool’s gall
grabbed the snitch’s rocket, seared his eyes out of his sockets
bitch, where’s Doc now?”


After ‘Win-Win’ finishes up and an outro track closes out the Green Team act of the album, the two rappers having stopped playing the game, and so the music takes a new turn for the tracks ‘Unified Field Theory’, ‘Strange Prayers’ and ‘Gold Team’. The track ‘Unified Field Theory’ brings forth this large dance beat with a meaty musical hook that isn’t all too far removed from the album’s previous tracks, but still different enough in its abstract dance-hop theme. ‘Strange Prayers’ is the first really diverted style on the album, which is a very chilled, toned down synthy track with relaxed vocals, and it’s a very welcome change in pace from the album’s earlier flashy and intense vocal deliveries. ‘Gold Team’ finishes the album with a completely uprooted and reworked sound, the hip-hop premise being all but disposed of as it focuses primarily on lax electronic beats with only minimal rapping left to hearken back to the album’s former glory. The idea of ‘Gold Team’, in this circumstance, acting as the same paradoxal juxtaposition that the themes of Green Team represented. After the Green Team segment, the music was slowly drawn away from the hip-hop styles as the two rappers had stopped playing the game, changing their musical styles and ‘Gold Team’ finally being the living enactment opposing Green Team. ’Gold Team’ is the lifeforce that exists outside the game, its spacial existence that is essential for Green Team, the game, to be.

The album also makes a fair use of sampling, with the effective implementation of iconic quotes from Full Metal Jacket, helping to further reinforce the Green Team concept: “You write “Born to Kill” on your helmet and you wear a peace button.“//”I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man, Sir.” And even snippets of Kermit the Frog: “It’s not easy being Green”, among several others. The album is an all-round in-depth experience, sitting at a reasonable time within the forty-minute range and not letting up. It’s utterly engaging from beginning to end, which is a tough expectation to fill in the modern day with plenty of albums either being too long or just too samey. $TRANGE GAME$ is an incredibly impressive debut album that is sure to please any hip-hop fan with a taste for the experimental and anyone with a taste for a sharp tongue and witty lyricism.


user ratings (4)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
OvDeath
June 2nd 2014


162 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

AOTY 2013

LordePots
June 2nd 2014


6607 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

did u just upload this?

Digging: Alt-J - This Is All Yours

OvDeath
June 2nd 2014


162 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah figured i'd put it up here to get it more attention. Album is in critical need of attention

LordePots
June 2nd 2014


6607 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

fuck yeah dude glad u put er up

Calc
June 2nd 2014


12185 Comments


sorely in need of experimental hip hop, will def look up

Digging: Jizue - Shiori

OvDeath
June 2nd 2014


162 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Free download: http://strangegame.bandcamp.com/album/trange-game

LordePots
June 2nd 2014


6607 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

@calc it two of my best buddies

LordePots
June 2nd 2014


6607 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

strange prayers is up there for 2013 hip hop soty

Calc
June 2nd 2014


12185 Comments


"@calc it two of my best buddies"

get the fuk out..that's cool as shit.

LordePots
June 2nd 2014


6607 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

get the fuk out..that's cool as shit.


ye. i was with them when they recorded several of the tracks. they got me to do chorus vocals on win-win and a verse on final dart

we all collab on a bunch of other projects often

Gyromania
June 2nd 2014


15701 Comments


just listened to this whole thing and it's pretty good

i love the beastie boys emceeing

also it's cool that they sampled the knife

LordePots
June 2nd 2014


6607 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

they sampled David Lynch and Rush too!

LordePots
June 2nd 2014


6607 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

what were your favourite tracks gyro? mine are strange prayers and i know easy



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy