Demo reviews Vol. 28

It’s once again time for Demo reviews. you send them in with hopes of me not shitting on them and I hope I don’t have to. That’s how this works.
Last week was submission week so, if you missed it, better luck next time! The doors are now closed for that. So, please don’t send me any demos. Thanks in advance for that.
If you’re new to this column, the reviews go as so: I do a little write up and then rate the demos on a scale of 1-10 in these categories:

Full disclosure, the number ratings don’t mean much. If I give anything above a 5.5, that usually means it’s pretty good. That’s all you need to know. But, typically, the number ratings are pretty arbitrary. I just do them cause people like to simplify how they are critiqued into number values.
Anyway, here’s this weeks batch. a few good ones this week…I hope that’s a trend that keeps up.

Artist: Humpasaur Jones
Song:The Lamentations

Pretty good. It’s well produced, well mixed and the song is put together nicely. The rapper is solid too. Kinda reminds me of J-zone a little. At least in his voice.

Nothing really negative to say about this. I mean, both the beats and rhymes aren’t blowing me away but it’s simply a very solid song, front to back.
Production:6.5 out of 10
Vocals: 6 out of 10
Listenability: 6.5 out of 10
Originality:5 out of 10

Artist: Mr. Proudfoot
Song: Flourisher

Not quite sure what’s going on in this one. It’s certainly strange. Sounds more like some music that would make a really good score for a david Fincher film. But, it’s just kinda pulsating noise outside of that. It’s not bad for what it is…I just have no idea what to do with it.
Production:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:2.5 out of 10
Originality:5.5 out of 10

Artist:Dead Analog
Song:Keep your hands up

This is an example of a beat had a cool starting point but everything added to it feels forced and doesn’t translate well. From the weird, unintelligible vocal sample to the clunky beat change. it just doesn’t work with any fluidity. I like the singing loop and that had promise but the end result was just kinda muddled.
Production:3.5 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Weenie hut
Song: A box marked Divinity

Am I crazy or does the rapper use a lot of Aesop phrases? Dunno…maybe I’m bugging.
I’m not crazy about the whole “flipping the vocal pitch” effect thing. It can work with the right voice but this is not one of them. Yes, the dreaded “white voice” curse does rear it’s ugly head on this song. I’m afraid that’s just how the cookie crumbles. That said, he can rap well with what he’s got. It’s not the type of shit I feel like listening to in 2013 , but it’s not bad. The beat is well made and mixed but pretty forgettable beyond that. Still, points for it being refined.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals: 4.5 out of 10
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
Originality:5 out of 10

Artist: Ali Gaddafi
Song: Indigo Great Gatsby

This is some drugged out shit right here. Kinda reminds me of a cleaner Young Zee.

This is one of those cases of the overall product being greater than it’s parts. I like the rapper. Dope voice. Good presence. The lyrics aren’t anything special but they fit the songs very well. The beat is also pretty simple but it works well in this context. Beyond anything, this song does a nice job of being relevant to today’s sound while also kinda being a decent throwback to underground raps heyday.
Production:4.5 out of 10
Vocals:6.5 out of 10
Listenability: 6.5 out of 10
Originality: 5 out of 10

Artist: Professor Kliq
Song:Bed Ridden

This is very…well…average. It’s not bad or poorly made it’s just pretty boring in general. Even though the song progresses and changes it still never feels like it goes anywhere interesting. I’m also not a fan of the particular rhodes (I think it’s a rhodes?) sound that’s the main sound of this song. It reminds me of early 90’s Soul II soul shit that I hated.
Production:5 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Sputgop
Song: Thank you (ft. the Watchmen)

I like the sample parts of the beat. The drums are a bit whatever but it doesn’t take away from overall product. More than anything, this just sounds kinda dated. The rapping is barely adequate and boring. They really have nothing to say and the only thing keeping them in the game is that the beat is very listenable. The song structure is good though , so there is that.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:3 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
Originality:2.5 out of 10

Artist: Fide in Auris
Song: Full Circle

This goes in a lot of directions but manages to be kinda aimless. I had trouble finding exactly what the drum track was doing until the kicks came in due to the samples sounding off beat. There is a strong vibe of forced sodomy to this song. I don’t mean that it sounds like gay sex. I just feel it could soundtrack a prison rape. Outside of that, It’s got some cool elements and it certainly has defined mood to it (prison rapey).
Production: 4.5 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Mattinson
Song: For a lady

This is a pretty dope beat. It’s fairly simple but the samples and drums are all tight and work very well together. Not to harp on something I always do but this would be awesome with a rapper on it. That aside, it does stand alone well enough. Good job.
Production:6 out of 10
Vocals: N/a
Listenability:6.5 out of 10
Originality:3.5 out of 10

Artist:Robert Lux
Song: I feel New (Feat. Charlotte sometimes)
Dude, please…make your soundcloud page capable of embedding. I don’t get why a person wouldn’t…anyway…
This is some european shit. Even if it isn’t made by a european, it still is. Just listening to it, I’m envisioning wierdly offbeat dancing in a smokey club somewhere in bratislava. That said, it’s perfectly good for what it is. The singer is cute and works well over the track and the track itself is solid. This simply isn’t in the wheelhouse of shit I’d ever listen to so it’s kinda hard for me to review.

Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:5 out of 10
Listenability:3 out of 10 (for me personally but it’s fairly listenable in general)
Originality:4 out of 10

So, what do you think?

26 thoughts on “Demo reviews Vol. 28

  1. Think I’ve just got one Aesop phrase in that: “Box Marked Divinity.” I could be totally wrong, though: it’s been so long since I wrote this that I don’t actually remember.

    Thanks for the feedback, Block. Always trying to improve.

      • Oh, yeah. Any in there were totally on purpose; it’s just hard to remember which specific references/quotes were from which places when a verse (like this one) is sorta at reference critical-mass.

        Thanks again.

    • And for any interested: I have a mixtape coming out this summer, as well as an EP with all original production including contributions from Analog(ue) Tape Dispenser (who produced milo’s “Things That Happen at Night”), and some other minor heroes of mine that I’m excited to work with.

      • I’m gonna go ahead and deeply disagree with that. DEEPLY. Woods isn’t for every one but he’s light years better than that dude. Not a slight at Humpasaur either, his demo was very solid. I just think Woods is special.
        Also, are you Humpasaur? Cause you’re reacting as if you are.

      • Are you fucking insane? Billy Woods and Illogic are both immensely skilled rappers and writers.

        What gets put in demo reviews is on another -plane- from people of Woods and Illogic’s caliber. Making comparisons between the people in demo reviews (myself definitely included) and consistently great underground heros is completely ridiculous.

      • I’m saying. I understand that Woods is someone that a lot of people don’t really “get” but his artistry is so far above anyone sending me demos it’s not even debatable. Illogic too but he wasn’t really bought up here so assumed that was agreed upon.

      • You have to be trolling kid. Whether or not Billy Woods’ style fits your personal tastes he is unquestionably talented and at the very least he is way past the sending demos to people phase of his career. Quit being a dick.

  2. Being an impartial, outside observer who rarely posts on these boards, I tend to agree with Block most of the time. However, this is not one of them. First off, claiming that somebody is on some unreachable echelon like Billy Woods is off-putting, And “passed sending demos”? Get the fuck out of here. That kid of self-righteous disillusionment will get you hipsters the cold shoulder.

    And objectively, everything about this Humpasaur character blows him out of the water. I’m sorry, listening to them both, I just can’t sit back here and watch you kids feign objectivity when it’s obvious you’re on your own shit more than our furry canine and feline friends.

    But, you know, fuck what I say, right?

    • Humpasuar is a more typical MC. he’s far more average so, to people who prefer more straight up rap, he will be superior to woods. I can see that. I’m not blind. The same way someone might prefer Jurrasic 5 to freestyle fellowship. But to those of us who like things a little stranger and more challenging, billy is of another universe.
      As for the “past sending demos” part, I’m not sure i made that claim (Though it’s possible I did) but, yeah…woods is past that point. He’s been making music for ten years. Has three solo albums and has fans. He’s done songs with all sorts of beloved rap heads and has their mutual respect. I’d say he’s past that. Humpasaur? As much as you like him and I think he’s very solid, he’s not passed that point. How do I know this? Cause he sent me a demo to review on my dumb ass blog. Pretty simple logic on that one.
      As for the comparison,I feel Woods voice, command, presence and lyrics (ESPECIALLY HIS LYRICS) are so far ahead of humpasaur it’s not even close (again, my apologies for singling this guy out cause he made a very good demo but whoever made the original comment bought this all on). To be fair, I think he’s way ahead of a lot of people in those categories. One of the knocks I hear on Woods is that he doesn’t rap on beat which confuses me cause it sounds perfectly on beat to me. People used to say Aesop rapped off beat but didn’t realize that was a style choice. Same with woods. That’s his style. If he wanted to rhyme a-b a-b he could. But he chooses a path less taken.
      But, whatever, it’s all opinion. I just happen to think you two have shitty opinions on this one (and vice versa, I’m sure).

  3. For the record, Hump Jones is 100% fine with that review. Also, kind of baffled at the general concept of arguing about subjective feedback. “Thanks for listening,” is about all I have to say about that.

    That, and 50% for “originality” was probably too generous.

      • It was soild for sure. He can rap better then me. The song was great. But I agree there are some people who are on different levels of untouchable status



        Mf doom

        Billy woods


  4. This isn’t about demos at all, but Blockhead just curious, have you heard of ANGEL HAZE before? You answered a question awhile ago about female mcs who you actually like, but I don’t think you mentioned her…anyways, I ended up hearing her perform last night and oh my god to her presence and flow and everything on stage. All the rap guys were into it, it was cool to see

      • No she’s a 22yo skinny black girl with waist-length hair from detroit, now in brooklyn. Graded on a genderless curve – she’s a good solid rapper but nothing anomalous at all. It was just impressive thought how she held she held the stage on her own really well and worked with the sound issues, which seems to be a hard thing to do at huge festivals, imo.

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