Sunday, December 28, 2014

Concentrated Forces by Ed Rowe, Sleep Sinatra & Concept

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     Three pointer, three strikes, three stooges, three's company, three's a crowd, three little birds and even the three branches of government. There's been tons of "threes" in this world, and  what all this three-talk has to do with anything, is that three hip-hop artists, Ed Rowe, Sleep Sinatra and Concept, joined forces to create their latest project, Concentrated Forces, under their up and coming indie label, Essenchill Records. Although Concentrated Forces is only a six-track EP, there is still a lot of really good music jam-packed into about twenty minutes of tunes.

     Ed Rowe, Sleep Sinatra and Concept may not be the most familiar of names to many of the readers, but they are, however, names that need to be learned in a quick manor so that the next time these guys put out a project, you know to check it out immediately. Ed and Sleep handle the vocal work on the album while Concept takes care of the ones and twos. Together, these guys created a quick yet cohesive album that is filled with sharp lyrics and smooth boom-bap beats.

     In terms of the vocals, the lyrics and verses are very strong. Heck, even the flows are sharp from both Sinatra and Rowe. There didn't seem to be any solidified leader in terms of the better emcee, as both rhymers seem to be on the same wavelength regarding their personal attributes. Both guys have similar styles, though there is a distinction of the two emcees when it comes to flow. They have some really strong raps, and their soft, smooth and at times raspy voices fit the sample-heavy beats laid down by Concept perfectly. 

     As stated above, Rowe and Sinatra have similar styles and sounds, which works surprisingly well. Think of OutKast; Big Boi and Dre were nothing alike in terms of their sound, and it worked beautifully. They balanced each other out and all of the great rap groups have a lot of differences that seem to blend well together. Honestly, I was expecting Rowe and Sinatra to have different sounds that would work to balance the album out, but this is definitely one of the first instances (that I've heard) where the two emcees are very much alike, and the end result is still really dope music. So hats off to Ed Rowe and Sleep Sinatra for the charisma and charm they brought to the project.

     Don't think that the charisma stops after the emcees, because it was Concept's beats that seemed to be the ribbon that laced this album together in the most eloquent of ways. Concept has a very jazzy sound that also incorporates that golden-era style. He is a very talented producer that is consistent in his work. His consistency allowed this album to have such a tight-knit and unified sound, that in all honesty, gives off the exact same vibe that the album artwork gives; a spaced out and very mellow feel. It's one thing to have two emcees on the same page, but to have two emcees and a foreign producer all working effectively and efficiently, well that's just the perfect recipe for a great EP.

     Normally, I'm against releasing EPs simply because I just don't get it. However, with Concentrated Forces, I think it was the right move because the slow tempo sound is awesome, just not in bulk, and all too often artists will throw in fifteen to twenty tracks that all have the exact same feel, and it just becomes a tiring listen. Yes all six of these tracks do have the same feel, but consisting of only six tracks allows for this consistency and repetitiveness. Whether that was intended or not, it was still a smart move by the trio based on their sound.

     In all, Concentrated Forces is a really good listen that doesn't drag based on it's length, and although it's not an extremely versatile project, it is still a well put-together EP that still has a lot to offer. It's smooth sound and strong lyrics will make any indie hip-hop head love this project. As stated previously, get familiar with these guys, because they know how to make some quality music, and Concentrated Forces is just that.


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