Demo reviews: Best of 2013


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Even though it’s already 2014, I’m not forgetting to cover the best of the “Demo Reviews”. These are the top songs I received over this year. I chose them based on my own ratings and how many votes they got. I also split up voting into instrumental and vocal categories. As I’ve said before, I’m always gonna be more a fan of the rap demos but, that said, I got some good instrumental stuff this year for sure.
I was considering doing a “Worst of…” demo reviews but I don’t think there’s enough room on the internet for that. So, a “best of” it is!
So, here it is, the cream of the crop. I posted them all as I originally reviewed them. Vote and lemme know who you think had the best demo of the year. Last years winner, Dinosaur Burps, won nothing but I did rock their album in my Ipod a decent amount, so that’s something!
This years winner? Who knows what’s in store for them? Maybe a trip into one of my I-tunes playlists? The sky is the limit. But seriously, there’s some good stuff in here and it does remind me why I even bother doing this column. Even though it’s 85% hell, that 15% of decent stuff does help me maintain faith that music isn’t dead yet.

The top instrumental demo’s of the year:

Artist: Pistol V
Song: Reyes


That was pretty dope. Really well layered and it evolved nicely. A couple of the drum sounds didn’t fit the vibe of the rest of the music but, really, that’s me splitting hairs. Well done.

Production:7 out of 10

Vocals:n/a

Listenability:6 out of 10

originality:5 out of 10


Artist: ShakeySuperfly
Song:Mini-Boss


That was a spastic little journey but packed a lot in just a minute plus. Listening to this, I feel as though it may be over my head. It’s crazy (in a good way). Tight little edits with seemingly tons of different sounds jammed together. It works well. So, while it’s not for me personally, I could definitely see some serious edm music nerd types losing their mind to this. Definitely high originality points on this one.

Production:6 out of 10

Vocals: N/A

Listenability:5 out of 10

Originality:7 out of 10


Artist: The Bins
Song: Hold on


This is very well made. After a week of submissions of some fairly low quality bedroom recordings, this one seems professionally mixed. The vocal samples are really dope. The transitions are all really smooth. Beyond all the technical aspect, this is a successful feel good song. While that can also be seen as being a little corny, pulling that off is no small feat. Definitely feels like an Avalances song.

Production:
6.5 out 10

Vocals:
n/a

Listenability:
6 out of 10

Originality:5 out of 10

Artist: Skeleton Zoo
Song:Devil’s Lettuce


The devil’s lettuce is weed, right? Totally brooooooooo. This is is actually pretty cool and interesting. It’s got a zaniness to it that i can definitely appreciate. It’s like a deranged circus. In fact, I kinda like this one. It’s rare i get something that I’d consider “original” but this is certainly that (at least to me)

Production:
6 out of 10

Vocals:
n/a

Listenability:
6 out of 10

Originality:6.5 out of 10

Artist:Wax Triptych
Song: Moonlight Vibe


Well, this is pretty good. Great layering. It moves along well and keep evolving as it goes. Definitely hear the RJd2 influence in here for sure. I gotta say , it’s just nice to hear someone in this demo review section make a beat with multiple sample sources (I’m assuming it’s from multiple sources) and actually have everything blend perfectly. My only knock on this is that the main drum break used is extremely played out but, even that get chopped up a bit to nice effect. Well done.

Production:7 of 10

Vocals:
N/A

Listenability:
7.5 out of 10

Originality:4.5 out of 10

So, Which do you like the best?

And now the demo’s featuring vocals…

Artist:NOWON
Song: Evil Ego’s Pt 1


This beat is pretty interesting. I don’t know if I like it or not but points for originality. The rapper sounds kinda like johnny Depp in “fear and loathing in las vegas” which is actually sorta cool. He’s got elements that are really good but still needs some work. Definitely promising all around but not quite there yet.

Production:5 out of 10

Vocals:5 out of 10

Listenability:5 out of 10

Originality:6 out of 10

Artist:Low Top Lee
Song: Shuriken Speaking


This is really solid. The beat is strong and just when I thought it was getting annoying with the horn stabs, they threw a change in there.
The rapper is pretty good too. good voice, nice presence. I dunno if I’d wanna hear a whole album of him but that’s really just me nitpicking. Good job.

Production:6 out of 10

Vocals:6.5 out of 10

Listenability:6 out of 10

Originality:5 out of 10

Artist: Vernon Bridges
Song:Over the Weather


Dope beat. Nice layering, good changes and the mood is really cool too. The first rapper sounds like a less retarded Lil Dap (I mean that as a compliment).

He’s got one of those lisps that works.
The second dude is pretty good too.
It reminds me of a demo I’d hear on stretch and Bob’s radio show in the mid-90′s that I would lose my shit over. Except this will seemingly age better. Really good stuff here. I’d put this in my top five all time demos I’ve received.

Production:6.5 out of 10

Vocals:6.5 out of 10

Listenability:7 out of 10

Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Windmills
Song: Truly yours


Whoa, hey there double-time guy! This rapper definitely can flow his ass off. He actually sounds comfortable in the pocket doing the fast rapping thing. Very solid. The beat is well made and has a nice melancholic feeling to it but it’s ultimately kinda boring. My one main issue with this is the hook. It’s mixed way too loud and I don’t know if it works that well in the context of the song. It doesn’t ruin the song or anything but it just sounds slightly out of place. That may just be cause of the mixing though.

Production:5 out of 10

Vocals:6 out of 10

Listenability:5 out of 10

Originality:4.5 out of 10

Artist: Humpasuar 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: Suddle
Song: Stellar

https://soundcloud.com/suddlenuance/suddle-stellar-wip

Shout out to this dude for not allowing people to embed his song. Get it together, bro.
This beat is dope. Straight up. It’s solid all around.It’s got a 90′s vibe to it but without sounding like it’s pandering to that era. Cool, subtle layers and changes. Definitely one of the best rap beats I’ve ever gotten.
The rapping is okay. He’s 100% capable and has a nice presence. While he doesn’t exactly set himself apart from most other decent rappers, if all his beats are like this, it won’t matter.

Production:
7 out of 10

Vocals:
4.5 out of 10

Listenability:
5.5 out of 10

Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Ayentee
Song: Time Line


The beat is dope as fuck.The rapping is good. It definitely is one of those rap songs that’s tipping it’s hat to some 90′s hip hop. No new ground being broke here but it’s nothing if not solid.

Production:
6 out of 10

Vocals:
5.5 out of 10

Listenability:
6.5 out of 10

Originality:3 out of 10

Artist:Steezo Feat Himp C
song: Blunts and Bacon


This isn’t bad at all but I had pretty high hopes for a song called “Blunts and Bacon”.
This is actually pretty good. It’s a well crafted song with some good raps and even a decent hook. To be honest, the thing that jumped out to me the most was the dope vibraphone chop on the hook. Loved that shit. 
While this may not be something that i’d come back to a bunch of times it’s certainly a very strong demo.

Production:6 out of 10

Vocals:5.5 out of 10

Listenability:6 out of 10

Originality:4.5 out of 10

Artist: Rezidue Ft. Legacy and Misk
Song: Above average


Above average indeed! Slightly.
This is dope. I like this beat a lot. The little subtle short sounds that bleep in really are a nice touch.
The rapping is solid. Nothing game changing but certainly very listenable. There’s a Wu-tangish quality to it all but that’s not exactly a bad thing…

Production:6 out of 10

Vocals:5.5 out 10

Listenability:5.5 out of 10

Originality:5 out of 10

So, which demo did you like the most?

19 thoughts on “Demo reviews: Best of 2013

  1. for the instrumental (my shit) i went with Moonlight Vibe by Wax Triptych. very rj with the breaks and what not but that opening vocal sample almost sounded like something i would hear from you. idk, i felt that it was one of the better mastered ones as well. it had everything i look for in a hip hop instrumental. very progressive as well. loved that one. for the vocals i went with Time Line by Ayentee. that dude didnt stop the entire time and his voice never sounded like he needed air. hes good. he held a nice flow the entire time and lyric content was fine. very 90’s yes, but i could jam to an album like that and i dont even really listen to rap anymore….great post man

  2. Block, glad you like liked the song enough to put make it apart of this. That means a lot to me. Especially since you said it wasn’t exactly your cup of tea. I do have stuff that is less spastic and more “hip-hoppy” (whatever the fuck that means). At the time, that was the only video I had finished from my latest project. Thanks again.

  3. Block, what’s your definition of a unicorn? I mean of course it generally means ‘rare as anything’ but where I live it specifically is slang for a hot girl who is willing to sleep with a hetero couple! Is it the same thing where you are?

      • Sorry, that was quite the non sequitur. I was just reading this best of 2013 and thought that some of these songs are almost unicorns when it comes to demos. And then I was wondering if you knew the other meaning of unicorn or not, just because of your blog byline and all.

        This goes into more detail than I was aware of, I think it originates from swinger circles
        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=unicorn

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