More Or Les and Recordface reflect on modern life, it’s enough to make you stressed!
Way back in December 2013 I interviewed More Or Les for our podcast just as his Doctor Who EP, Bigger On The Inside: A Time Traveller’s Mixtape dropped. During the conversation, even that long ago, Les mentioned that he was working on his most recent release Post Millennium Tension with producer Recordface. A year and a half later and we discover it was well worth the wait as Les demonstrates an angsty side that caught me somewhat by surprise.
Consisting of a modest 8 tracks, if you include the brief intro, Post Millennium Tension is an observation of modern lifestyles and our dependence on technology. With production and mixing supplied by Recordface the result is a little bit gritty, ever so catchy and works incredibly well with cuts added by Les. Add to that the vocalist’s trademark precision delivery and you’ll find an easy, fun listening experience with a little more edge to it than I expected from a More Or Les record.
As one of the Canadian independent hip-hop scene’s more considered vocalists, I associate Les with educated, smart lyrics. He doesn’t stand out to me as particularly sweary… until now. The first track proper, End Of The World is raised by it’s catchy, if ominous, hook which has been stuck in my head for a week now. There’s no sparing the profanities as Les vents his frustrations with modern technology and its many shortcomings. Angst aside the track still comes across as upbeat, funky and funny.
Social media is the topic that takes centre stage for the next song, Scotch Tape. Les channels his inner Trent Reznor for this beat led track to challenge internet privacy and the motives behind publishing your life to the worldwide web. Edward Snowden’s leak of the U.S. government’s global surveillance programs forms the subject matter for the next entry on the track listing. The subtle backing on Snowden encourages the listener to pay closer attention to the lyrics which offer up truths to the uneducated.
Escape the rat race with a Long Weekend (Nature). The Mighty Rhino offers vocals on the chorus for a track which promotes taking the opportunity to escape city life and the entrapments of it. Lose the tech and get back to basics. Reset.
How often have you asked someone how they’re doing only to be told “You know, I’m really busy at the moment”. Seriously, I do it and hear it all the time. Les hits the nail right on the head on Busy. Exhibiting his ability to flow at speed as this loose, beat-led track offers minimal instrumentation but hits the perfect tone and feel. This is my stand-out track from Post Millennium Tension. Heads Down again comments on something we all do these days – staring at our phones and tablets, unable to engage with our families and colleagues. The release wraps up with GeeArr featuring fellow Backburner crew member Timbuktu. Taking a look at the moral virtues of Gene Rodenberry’s Star Trek.
The subtle production, catchy beats and hooks, masterfully executed cuts and well formed lyrical presentation make Post Millennium Tension one of my favourite releases of 2015 to date. The tone is set just right and Les’ insight into society’s reliance and frustrations with technology and social media is on the money. A clever and amusing release that might just make us pause and think about what we’re doing online an how we engage socially. A terrific addition to any nerdcore/indie hip-hop fan’s collection.
Post Millennium Tension is available to download now for $8 or purchase as a physical copy for $9 via the Hand’Solo Records Bandcamp Page.
Hear my interview with More Or Les from December 2013