Two of Canada’s burgeoning rap scene step up to take centre stage.
More commonly found as featured artists or part of a collective, Rift and Savilion released their collaborative effort Carry The Fire at the end of October. Rift aka Garthim Master, amongst other pseudonyms hasn’t set my world alight with his contributions this far whilst Savilion on the other hand has made an impression as one third of Swamp Thing alongside Timbuktu and Chokules. Rift takes on the lions share of the vocals whilst Savilion spits lines on three tracks but produced the whole shebang. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this release.
The Intro, clocking in at just under a minute long, features an easy beat, samples and cuts and serves really as a self referential warm-up for the previously released single and title track. Musically rhythmic, Carry The Fire doesn’t launch the album off with much impetus leaving me questioning the thought behind the track listing. For me it’s a track that sounds like it’s winding down rather than kicking off the release. Third up is Take You Higher on which Geneva provides a sung chorus whilst Wordburglar leads the vocals on a track that also features Chokeules and Sulfur. Another easy listen with unimposing beats and a singular trumpet forming the core melody.
The pace is raised slightly on Dragon Jargon which finds the beats becoming more prominent on a fairly simple composition. There’s a hint of what you’d expect from Savilion in the lyrics of a Swamp Thing track. I Don’t Know Why finds Rift tapping into an emotional well. Clever use of samples set the tone on a track that features a lilting melody played on keys over which Rift’s vocals somehow manage to achieve the bare minimum amount of tunefulness, no bad thing. Somehow the contrast works to great effect.
DJ Bizkid provides scratches on the album including the intro to Ace Of Diamonds. Again drawing on personal experience Rift delivers a sincere set of lyrics over one of the more accomplished beats on the album that captures a touch of soul. Frida Kahlo pays tribute to the titular Mexican painter but again the beat doesn’t push boundaries forming a fairly sedate backdrop. When You Died takes the tone way down with sombre lyrics presenting in the first person a story of losing a child sibling in. The serious and genuine nature of the track is sobering and thought provoking.
Into This World We’re Thrown is my stand out track thanks in no small part to the lyric and sample from which the track takes it’s title. Featuring the distinct sound of The Doors’ Riders On the Storm with Jim Morrison’s vocals cut in, the beats are also at their most dynamic here. Rounding off this ten track album is F#¢K D€ad Pr€$id€nt$ which features Ceschi, More or Les, Jesse Dangerously, Sulfur, Mikal kHill and Mindbender.
Not an unpleasant listening experience Carry The Fire has it’s moments but sadly fails to really spark to life. It’s a touch on the flat side throughout and featuring competent beats that don’t really push any boundaries. I was pleasantly surprised by Rift’s vocals, I haven’t always enjoyed his delivery but found his form above my expectations this time around.
In summary Carry The Fire warrants more than one listen but won’t keep my long-term interest. With so much seriously good music coming from the scene Rift and Savilion are a part of in Canada at the moment, this release falls just shy of what I’ve come to expect.
Carry The Fire is available to download for $8 or for a dollar more plus shipping you can snag a physical copy from the Hand’Solo Records Bandcamp page.