Demo Reviews: Best of 2014


Well, what a year it’s been.
I can’t believe I reviewed all the demo’s and I’m still here to talk about it. I figured a disgruntled artist woulda got me by now…or perhaps I’d take my own life to avoid having to keep reviewing demos. Either way, i’m still standing!
This is not about that though. This is where we get to see the cream of the crop. These are the best demo’s of year. If you’re curious how they got chosen, it’s simple.
I based it on my personal ratings and fan voting. If both coincided on some level, the song made it to the “best of” stage. Sometimes a song would get low votes but a high grade by me or vice versa so I just used common sense to pick which songs got in.
Now, i need you to vote on the best one. There is a rap category and an Instrumental category. Vote in each! The winners get a sloppy blow job from me. Just kidding. They might get a tweet or something though. Which is pretty much an internet version of a sloppy blow job.
So check them out!

Rap Songs:

Artist: Galactic Brethren

Song: Time Bandits

A nice understated beat. A good variety of rap styles. This one won’t blow you away but it’s undeniably solid. Sure, some of the rappers are better than others but that’s how this all works. This one also gets points for how it’s put together. Well recorded and not just dudes rapping over a loop. it’s a legit song.

Artist: Aralass

Song: Cloudcatchers

Can’t help but see this name and think of Arli$$ from HBO.
Anyway, This is a great example of some mellow minimal stuff.
The break between verses is a bit long for my taste but, if you’re a person who’s into scratching , it’ll be your shit.
The first rapper is definitely the stronger of the two but the second guy doesn’t bring it down too much.

Artist:Mic Capes

Song:Never stop

This was the song I gave the highest score to of all the demos of this year.
it’s funny cause , listening to it now, it’s definitely good but not that great. It’s well made, well recorded and well executed. That said, it’s not exactly blowing my mind. I guess it just goes to show how effective covering all your bases can be. I must have been in an especially pragmatic mood the day i reviewed it. That said, there is really nothing wrong with this song and that in itself is a rarity for these demo reviews.

Artist: Dead the poets

Song:Xanax colored cadillac

This is just a likable, drugged out joint. The first rapper , to me, is one of the better dudes you'll ever hear in these demo reviews based entirely off his presence , voice and overall swagger. The second dude is solid too.
The beat is a pretty simple loop with some small changes but it is perfect for the kind of song they made.
After re-visiting all these, this one might be my favorite of the year.

Artist: MicP

Song: Going spam in Lala Land

This one got in more for the beat than the rapping. Not to say the rapping is bad. it’s pretty good, actually. But this beat is my shit. the rapper does a good enough job over it to make it stand out as one of the years overall best demos.

Artist: Diogenes Ft. Barfly

Song:Pistols at dawn

This is the opposite of the one above. It’s more about the rapping. The beat is solid but , ultimately, not particularly interesting. The rappers are seemingly high as fuck but it’s working for them. While it’s flawed, they are a few better choices away from making a really dope song.

Artist: Lucid optics

Song: Mind of psilocybin

This one got a lot of votes. I liked it enough but wasn’t that into the rappers voice. He can rap well and the weird ass beat definitely works for me. It’s a bugged out song. i can see why it got the votes it did.

Artist: Matt Black

Song: Champloo

Very well made all around. So much so i questioned if the beat was actually made by them or not. Well, no one said it wasn’t so I assume it’s an original. That’s dope. The rapping is secondary here but still good enough to keep the song going.

So, which is your favorite?

Artist:Furbie Cakes

Song: Vacation Trees

Nice mellow vibe. Distinctively european sounds. Like, I could hear it in coffee shops.
The horn line is dope.
More than anything, it evolves nicely and doesn’t drag too much.

Artist: Geovybe

Song:Groove with me

This is more a right up the middle instrumental track. Soul samples, chops, and some good break downs. It’s solid all the way around , if not particularly original.

Artist:Agrume de Cerveau

Song:Looking for the magical toad

This is probably my personal favorite instrumental track. It’s just really well done and interesting. It’s not perfect or anything but i really like where he went with this. It’s definitely a song where you start somewhere and end somewhere else.

Artist: Geniusenis

Song:Every Generation

This starts off just sounding like a melancholy rap track but flips into some somewhat EDM shit. I typically don’t get too into that kinda stuff but he does a nice job with it. Sure, it’s just some simple chops but it’s well executed.

Artist: Mental Effector

Song: Naive

This 100% got in due to fan votes. In my review i more comment on how it’s good but not really my cup of tea. Well, apparently it was your cup of tea. That early 80’s r&b steeze is dope and definitely on display here.

Which is your favorite?


So, I’ve been doing these demo reviews for a while now. It’s been a somewhat painful yet enlightening experience. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve vacillated as to whether I should continue with this (as it’s one of those things that takes a lot of time to write to, typically, mind numbing results) But, every now and then, a good song will pop up and make things worth it (kinda)
The year is coming to a close and I figured it might be fun to have a yearly winner of “Demo of the year”. So, I’m taking the winner of each poll of the past 12 Demo review columns and putting them up against each other. I will also give a brief recap of what I thought of that song. Keep in mind, there are the songs YOU voted to win for those weeks. I often woulda picked something different. But I’m don’t rule with an iron fist so I leave it up to the people.

So, vote and lemme know who #1 is. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE! The prize? Eh, I dunno. A pat on the back? Who fucking knows…
Also, a few of the original links given didn’t work so I’m afraid those got disqualified. Sorry to those people. Trust me, life will go on. because of that, I threw in one extra that I kinda liked and felt people slept on. Only cause I remembered it months later and that in itself is a feat with these demos.

Artist:Black and friendly

Song:Young Heavy soul food

This one is pretty fresh in my mind as it was from two weeks ago. It’s cool. I like the beat and it has a nice listenability to it. The rapping is fine (even with the white voice. Whattup friendly!!). More than anything though, this is a well conceived , put together and executed song which is a much harder to pull of than people realize.

Artist: El Topo

Song: Bite the bullet

This is one that coulda been really great if the producer had just had better drums. The musical elements are fresh and well done but those drums…hard to get past, in my opinion. But hey, what do i know? You guys loved this one so there must be something to it.

Artist:Dinosaur Burps

Song:WV Bruder Alles

For my money, this is EASILY the best demo I’ve ever gotten. I don’t wanna sway the voting cause when I spoke so highly of it before, a few butthurt people came out trying to nitpick it due to my positive response. As if this column has been a gold mine for great music. Whatever is clever but the fact remains that this is literally the only demo i’ve ever received that ended up on my Ipod. The beat is dope and the rapper is not only skilled, but kinda clever ,all while not taking himself too seriously.

Artist: Funny Death

Song: First Love

This is one of those rare instrumental tracks I get that i can actually tell is a step above the rest. It’s just really well done and has a warming vibe to it. Even if it’s not something I’d personally bump, hats off to the dude who made. Which is an ill thing for me to say, cause I never take my hat off.

Artist: Mixmaster McDiffitt

Song: Sunburn

What a weird and interesting track. This beat is very dope. The rapping is okay. I can see why this won it’s week though. It’s got a hypnotic quality to it for sure.

Artist: Getulio, The Old Gorilla

Song: All day and all night
I remember this one. It stood out as it seemed like a polished and well thought out piece. This is what “trip hop” used to be. Very well done.

Artist: GDP


This is from back when I accepted youtube clips.
It got that old CO-flow before el-p’s solo career vibe with rapping that closely resembles Big Jus. Not a diss , as both those things are good. I recall this not being exactly up my alley (I’ve never been crazy about beats like this) but still a dope song nonetheless.

Artist: Night:Light

Song: You should leave me

This is okay. I dunno…must have been a slow week or something for this to win. I mean, it’s not bad at all, it’s just a little repetitive. The break a 2:56 is dope though.

Artist:Atari Blitzkrieg

Song:Think Twice (Krohme’s Sld Rnnr RMX) feat. Rapper Pooh, Motion Man and Breez Evahflowin’

This is one of those tracks that felt a little like cheating. It had a few established guests on it and that usually goes a long way. The rapping is solid…duh. They are professionals. The beat bangs as well. Nothing we haven’t heard before but it’s just a solid hip hop track. Dope beat + good raps = success. It’s really not that complicated. I’m shocked it’s so hard for some people to figure out.

Artist: Strangers

Song: Lounted in the basement

This is the extra I threw in. It’s deeply Madlib influenced , almost to a fault, but it’s a very enjoyable song. The beat is pretty…umm..whimsical? Whatever, it’s dope. And the rapping fits perfectly with it. Figured I’d use my executive power to give it a second chance.

Now, tell me who you think had the best demo of the year…