Justin Floes aka THA F.O.R.M.U.L.A. (F=MC) set out to pack up an instrumental hip-hop album, one of the most interesting hip-hop albums I have had the pleasure to listen to in quite a while, showcasing the personality and artistic sensibility of a true outsider. This genre might seem like an easy one to approach, but the risk of falling into the same old, repetitive clichés is far too great, and I’ve heard so many hip-hop instrumentals that left me with such a foul taste of “generic” in my mouth. This is definitely not the case. A Peace of Sound is a really cool sonic pastiche, an eclectic combination of styles, instruments and moods, all patched together under tight beats. The most peculiar thing about the 14 songs featured on this release is the synth and sampling work, creating a lot of space: wall-of-sound ambient drones that wouldn't feel out of place on something Brian Eno could release suddenly clash with brass or string samples, creating a really unique atmosphere.
The first song (EXIT)tence utilized a number of different synths to create warm textures that worked together to make one rather infectious melody. The beat was no slouch either in that the drums hit a good balance with synths creating the perfect amount of bounce to create an almost hypnotic state. "Product of the Environment" had a cinematic feel to it that had some really unique sounds. What intrigued me most wasn't the lead keys but the ambiance lingering in the background. It sounded like a combination of sea whales and white noise. Other jams like "Wordless Poetry" had a chill feel to them while other like "Classic Rain" had an intense kinetic energy. A Peace of Sound portrays THA F.O.R.M.U.L.A. as an accomplished artist with really specific ideas on where to go and what kind of vibe to achieve on this record. It relies as much on the atmospheric melodic as on the rhythm and beats. This is a work I would recommend listening to in full, just like a flow of music!
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