There are a lot of great things about the rise of accessible, affordable music production tools. Young artists free to experiment without restraint; the possibility of creating a legitimately radio-worthy tune from your parent's back bedroom; the creative process yanked from corporate hands and given to its rightful owners—the artists themselves. That said, such accessibility has made the job of hacks like me a bit of a long-out. Today, music journalism is characterised by an inexorable slog through a soup of one-trick "producers" looping mp3s with little finesse. In scenes like hip-hop—somewhat characterised by minimalist production—finding actual musicians who sweat for their art can be particularly tough.
But make no mistake: those musicians exist—and Morriarchi, one of Blah Records' supremo beat-makers, is one of them. After dropping woozy single "Campbell And Algar" in March, Buggzville Sessions has finally arrived—15 tracks (14 on the digital version) that combine the sunshine aesthetic of '90s rap with the sullen, sharp edges of modern UK hip-hop. This record reeks of graft—from the way the echo-chamber drums are balanced against delicate jazz rips, to Morriarchi's white-gloved approach to vocal production that brings each stanza alive. And if you don't give a shit about all that flowery stuff, you've still got Lee Scott, Trellion and Sniff and a host of other MCs to sully the waters with their morose, often menacing, bars. Cop the vinyl and CD pre-order here, or stream the whole record exclusively below.