Updated: Sep 16, 2019
This review is something of a triple threat for us over at Juan. First time we've had Subaltern Records, City1 or Rider Shafique grace us with the honour of a review and a YouTube upload!
Giving the release it's name is the collaboration with Rider - 'Speak Out'. The powerful spoken word kilter of Rider skips across the ethereal atmospheres conjured by City1, combining together to create a consciously choral sub-laden belter. I'm always a fan of vocalists on tracks. This is especially ture when it comes to Rider Shafique. His presence affords an element of cognizance to a genre that is usually fairly dearth in terms of political messages. 'Speak Out' would be just as at home at the front of the barricades as it is on the dancefloor.
If you keep locked in for the full review, you'll see that this release is characterised by switch ups and the biggest of these comes when you flip from the a-side to the b. Almost the polar opposite to 'Speak Out', 'Koroga' is defined by frenetic energy, characterised by intricate use of Coki and Kromestar style synthesisers to continually change the pace of the tune. The percussion and sub remain consistent, it's the midrange that defines the path this tune takes. 'Speak Out' is the spark up tune of the release. 'Koroga' is the spark out tune of the release.
Joining 'Koroga' on the b-side is 'Zee'. Occupying that sonic middle ground between the other two tunes, I think 'Zee' clinches it as my favourite on the release. There's a lot going on here. That reverbed string sample on the first drop has a very cowboy/western feel to it and the spacey blips that come in are possitively intergalactic in nature. The the O.K. Corral on the Crab Nebula. Remember when I said the release is defined by switch ups? Yeah this is one of those. After the breakdown, the second drop treats us to one of the most delightful switch ups I've heard in a long while. More militant in nature to the first drop, this one puts the 'step' in dubstep. Let's not even go into that sub wobble. I'm just going to quote our resident mic man Brizzy to explain it: "jheeeeeeeeeeeeeese".
Not content with just securing these three tunes for all you thirsty soundboys and gyals out there, the Subaltern crew have also managed to secure two digital exclusive tracks for you if you cop from their own website (PSA: always try to cop from bandcamp, bigcartel or a labels own website cos the money goes straight to the label). 'The Deepest' is one of those strokes of musical genius, it conjures a kind of contradictory lethargic energy through it's bassline and fluttery percussion. Rut aka the 'Speak Out' speaks for itself really, but it's definitely interesting hearing some additional layers to the track that you're diverted from in the vocal version.
Cop from here for those spicy digital exclusive tracks: