Relapse - M.I.A. (2019)
Updated: May 21, 2019
Have I got an album now to review! It's one of those albums you definately need to check out before you die. And it's not out yet, so you cannot join the bandwagon. I'm sorry, but this is a preview, not a review. You've got to wait a couple of weeks for it to be released on Oblivion Underground Recordings. But when it gets released, it will cause a storm. Not a shit storm, or the storm we had today, but a good storm.
Well, before we dive into the album, I have to come clean: the name Relapse did not ring a bell at first. But that's no big thing. This album is my first introduction into this UK DJ and producer, who's debut album will be released on the 21st of this month, and if that's not enough: a launch party in my hometown on the 18th. So this album is going to be big, right?
Yes. Anyone who has a launch party is going to be big. But what can you hear on the album? A mix of literally everything hard: Hardcore, Industrial Hardcore, Grime, Hip-Hop, Crossbreed, Techno, and more. Don't get me wrong, the main focus is Hardcore/Industrial (or Downtempo), but you do get bits and bobs here and there of other styles, blending in nicely with the main gist of this album.
For this album (which is called M.I.A., after my grandmother Mia) Relapse made it the way he wanted it to be, and his thoughts and passion has gone into each and every track. It also has a build up of BPMs throughout the album: we start with track 1 with 130 BPM and we finish at 160BPM with track 11. All originals, and all made by Relapse.
So no Uptempo stuff, but Downtempo stuff. Gosh, I've been out of the scene too damn long. It's like every week a new style emerges out of nowhere. But sometimes the Uptempo stuff is too rough and raw (and boring too), so this Downtempo stuff could just be my cup of tea?!
Let's find out what you can find on the actual album:
01. Relapse - M.I.A.
02. Relapse - Creepin
03. Relapse - No Time
04. Relapse - XXX
05. Relapse - Switch Tight
06. Relapse - Armageddon
07. Relapse - Let Me See Ya
08. Relapse - Bullshit
09. Relapse - Non Stop Hustle
10. Relapse - The Imperial Bomb
11. Relapse - Never Be Safe
This is certainly a unique album. Not something you can categorise easily. You cannot put this in a general box. This is certainly something different, and not something I have heard before. Once the album drops, you will definately find out what I'm talking about.
The albums starts slow, as I mentioned before, and will end 'fast'. Not really that fast, 160 BPM is still acceptable, but compared to the first record it's certainly fast. But is it good?
I have to say 'yes'. Even though it can be kind of weird and unexpected, it does get me going mad behind the screens. I'm nodding my head, shaking my feet, and basically moving my elephant body around like it's my last day on Earth. Not a pleasant sight to see, but that's all Relapse's fault.
The build up of this album is what I praise the most. Never have I experienced an album that focusses on the BPMs. Most albums have got the 'best' record as number 1, and towards the end you kind of get the 'waste' records: records no-one asked for, no-one plays, and no-one will ever recollect them. But that's not the case here.
Relapse uses a lot of Hip-Hop and Grime. Sometimes maybe a bit too much, but it's still acceptable. At times you just want the beats and bass to penetrate your skull, and trust me, Relapse does that too. And for those wondering if you can dance to the 130 BPM records... don't worry: most CD players do have a slider that goes up and down, and with that you can increase the speed. So don't worry if it's too slow. It's not Barry White slow.
During the first few records I got this DJ Promo vibe. His Industrial alias. God, I've forgotten the name of it. But that vibe can be felt. Towards the end, when the BPMs go insane (not really though), I do get a Rooler vibe. Relapse cannot be categorised, as I said before. But it's a nice balance: it never becomes dull. It raw, it's rough, and it does the trick.
So what can you do until the release of this album? You can wait. Go to the launch party. And once it hits the market, get it. If you are interested in Downtempo music, you will love this album. A good debut album. This kid will do great things in the future. Make more of this, please.
You can pre-order this right now from Bandcamp, and I urge you to do so. You can also listen to two of the eleven records, as a teaser!
Genre/Style: Industrial Hardcore, Techno, Grime, Downtempo
Album Info: Relapse's debut album M.I.A.
Length Album: 00:53:26
Tracks: 11 (eleven)
Download/Listen (via Bandcamp): DOWNLOAD/LISTEN Product Number: OBLIVION012
Label: Oblivion Underground Recordings
More Information: Oblivion Underground - Official Website