All ye who enter here…this is a new and genre-crossing project from producer Kristian Sharpe and the Scribes’ Ill Literate who combine here to generate an ambitious and original 13 track collection. It’s hard to define musically: Kristian Sharpe draws from hip hop, rock, funk, soul, blues, electro and jazz, while Ill Literate contributes thoughtful and creative lyrics.
Che Lives is vital and upbeat rap-rock, with some surprisingly retro guitar interludes, and possibly the only lyrical references to New Labour and proletarians that we are likely to hear this year. Dead Angels is musically more firmly within hip-hop but with a gentle musical edge, quite far removed from aggressive rap. God Knows is another rock-rap outing, drenched in a sad feel and, like the album as a whole, exuding regret rather than anger. Mindfields is melodic, and curiously reminiscent of something a late 60s rock band might have contemplated. So Far trots along happily with a rhythm that’s hard to pin down, while Trapped Inside Escape is full-on hip-hop. As if that were not enough, Spaced Out Break Out introduces a jazz feel to proceedings.
This is quite a unique release: the quality of musical settings is rich and diverse; the words are political but overall quite low key and melancholy.
Earlier reviews of the Scribes can be found on reggaemusic.org.uk 3rd February and 14th December 2015, and 22nd October 2012
A Band On Hope: 13 track LP, released 15th September 2016 from iTunes, Amazon and other online retailers