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Flooded Hallways / Press

“FLOODED HALLWAYS `One Variable’ (Own label) Album Review part 3: It’s on a couple of tracks – ‘Try Me’ and especially ‘Theoretical Measure’ – that Flooded Hallways hint at an invention and craft that may truly set them apart. Both pieces are ostensibly mid-tempo hip-hop with a spooky, moody selection of samples arranged into a skeletal backdrop; not afraid to turn melodic corners in totally unexpected ways. ‘Theoretical Measure’ is a pivotal point for `One Variable’: it’s weird and creative, opening with stunted half-heard sounds before switching tempo and feel to twist up the tension. It then does the same trick twice more to create an odd structure that works in ways that it really shouldn’t.”

“FLOODED HALLWAYS `One Variable’ (Own label) Album review part 2: It seems that – lyrics, potentially, aside – they’ve been diligent, ensuring a varied sound that joins the dots between the delicate and minimal opener ‘Move Like The Wind’, the rich and disorientating eastern instrumentation backing on ‘Buenas Noches’, the Mo-Wax-style fuzzed trip-hop of ‘Memes’ and the heavier and more aggressive loping beats and chants of ‘Life Pourings (O.V.O.)’. It’s very rare that the quality – in terms of clarity of sound, sharpness of production or neatness of arrangement – dips, and while the range on display could begin to repeat itself on a longer collection, over this album length it’s just enough to satisfy. Continued in part 3...”

“FLOODED HALLWAYS `One Variable’ (Own label) Album review part 1: I’m not much of a lyrics guy, and Flooded Hallways’ album being hip-hop, is made up largely of lyrics. And as such there are messages and stories to be had. However, approaching `One Variable’ from another angle, one can hear the lyrics rather than listen to them, and from this perspective the vocals are a success. They wend their way through a rather sparse, sample-based backdrop, doubling up from time to time and flip-flopping between vocalists to enrich the sonic textures on display over the album’s eleven tracks. Flooded Hallways are prolific; `One Variable’ is their fourth release of 2012. Continued in part 2...”

“DEEQ Edifice (Own label) Album review part 3: Ijada’s experience through years of live and recorded performance has resulted in a lightness of touch, an easy-going feel, that results in a rich listening experience. There are several levels to take in here – the lyrics themselves, the music, the interplay between the two, and the journey from one track to the next – which means that repeated listens pay dividends. This is music that speaks of experience of many kinds, and it feels like it deserves to be heard.”

“DEEQ Edifice (Own label) Album review part 2: The music beneath the lyrics is accomplished, rich and varied, mixing a variety of old samples (horror movie trailers, soul and gospel singers, and the like) into loping, bouncy rhythms. As a piece of production work it’s deft and deceptive; the flat, uneffected vocal recording brings the voices to the fore, without creating an egotistical vocal performance. It’s an album that, along the lines of hip-hop before the slick sounds of the early 90s began to create ‘rap megastars’, includes the vocals as a musical element just as much as a carrier of meaning. The lyrics themselves are somewhat opaque, but delivered insistently enough to allow the listener to gloss over their exact meaning and instead enjoy their sound. Some of the song titles – ‘Feral Heart Blues’, ‘Angel Of Death’, ‘Drag You To Hell’ – suggest an album rooted in darkness, and that may very well be the case, but it’s by no means a difficult listen. Co”

“DEEQ Edifice (Own label) Album Review part 1: Deeq is Flooded Hallways’ Darran Ijada, and ‘Edifice’ is a twenty-two track, sixty-seven minute hip-hop journey. It shares the sprawling, slightly blurred-yetuptight feel of much of Wu-Tang Clan’s output, as well as their double-vocal delivery style – one lyric, two concurrent vocal tracks – that provides a loose and pleasingly rough ‘live’ sound to the music. Because of the large number of tracks here – with fewer than half breaching the three-minute mark – the album has a cutand-paste, stream-of-consciousness approach that’s not only enthralling, but provides a sense of forward motion that ensures there are very few weak points. Continued in part 2...”

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