Last year Street Mob Orchestra released an impressive mashup/remix album entitled Product Of A Primitive Mind and now a year later he is back with On Ghosts Of Kings. Apparently Jon Creciun the sole force behind the project is using less mashup content and moving more towards original content and has decidedly labeled the genre “alternahop.”
After immersing myself in his new album it’s hard to tell the difference between the borrowed content and the original content but at the same time that is completely irrelevant to enjoying the finished product. That being said, it was fun trying to discern what he recorded himself and what was sampled. Creciun excels at splicing, editing and reconfiguring snippets of content into original soundscapes. Whether it’s a sample of Bryan Cranston as Heisenberg from Breaking Bad or an original guitar riff he infuses with a rap Creiun is attempting to and quite often successfully creating his own style of music.
The album begins with a brief intro called “It’s Your Canvas,” which is a little over a minute mashup of samples and rap with quick transitions before seguing into “C'est La Vie(That's Life).” The most immediate comparison here is Sleigh Bells. Craciun stacks what I believe is his own self-recorded guitar upon a hip-hop beat that doesn’t contain any poppy infectious female vocals like Sleigh Bells.
“Royals (Ch.3) Lorde remix” omits the prominent heavy metal guitar in favor of a stripped hip-hop beat, some rapping and a myriad of samples including Louis C.K. “Psalms To Break Bad” is one of the highlights and features everything from cut up Breaking Bad samples to heavy metal guitar to the drumbeat from “When The Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin. The song is like schizophrenic radio that is constantly changing. It's not exactly something you can sing along to but it has its charm.
Street Mob Orchestra may not have invented a new genre (Girl Talk has a similar genre) but has some talent as an editor. Some of the self-recorded material sounded lo-fi such as the guitars against some of the samples but it wasn’t terribly noticeable. Overall, On Ghosts Of Kings shows Creiun expanding his palette and delving into new territory.
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