Jonah Freed, Farsight & Rider Shafique – Guns EP [HY002]
Hot off of his Dream Sequence plate, Jonah Freed keeps the wheels moving for his second release on the Czech based bandcamp label Harmless Youth. Looking to turn heads by enlisting the up and comer alongside Rider Shafique and Farsight for a three tracker of trap x grime x dubstep fusion that’ll have the lesser soundboys donning their Nike sweatpants and attempting to mix this with Tay K’s “The Race”. No harm, no foul though. It’s a great release for the label and positions Harmless Youth to move beyond a simple bandcamp label towards something greater.
The title track “Guns” which features Rider uncharacteristically not wax poetically like SpaceApe, or rant against the societal ills, or conjure Stokley with screeds on race relations, but rather does his best roadman. Adding some gruffness to his voice and chats about raising the tool against others at “anytime and by any means”. It’s a weird switch of stylistic content but shows a more aggressive side to the MC who is more known for his meditations on society and race but within us contain multitudes right? Meanwhile Jonah funnels 808 sub bombs, hi-hat spray, a diva loop, and a minor key piano stab that drifts into a relatively straightforward trap (not grime) beat that isn’t remarkable but simply shows up and does its job; carrying Rider.
While “Guns” is bound to get the rewind treatment, “The Marshall Plan” and “Septum” which has Farsight share the studio with Jonah on the former and Farsight by himself on the latter are the more interesting. “The Marshall Plan” is ruder with gameboy sprites that manifest amongst the detuned Apocalypse horns like some kind of demonic seven trumpets of Revelation. As the arpeggio arrives, it becomes some kind of astral descent à la Dante into the seven circles of Croydon; all flickering street lamps, wet asphalt and spliff smoke. But for me, Farsight’s solo track, “Septum” is the pick of the litter with its melodic eski thing, pulse x laser fire, and rolling sub, “Septum” sticks more to its grime foundation and perhaps is a tad more fun to mix and blend than the other two. Just my two cents.