Monday, September 01, 2014

EP Review: PayBac – The Broken Speaker Symphony

Artiste – PayBac Hanson

EP The Broken Speaker Symphony

Features Boogey, Charlie X, Ruby Gyang, YVNG Po, Danny Gomez,             X'n'O and Jumar

Producer – Charlie X

Running Time 00:28:18

Management – Section 330

Listen to The Broken Speaker Symphony when you’re washing a car or when you don’t have enough money to take a bike home. Normally I’ll just plug in my portable headphones and let the songs drive me home. This ride is always the dopest. The weed nigga down the street will always speak from his glued lips held together by that attractive force that doesn’t want the massive wrap fall off his lips “bro you ride the best” and I’ll reply, “Negro, You smoke the best”. So I was really able to save my first impression in typing using my notepad before reaching home to replay back the whole pieces in my listening room.

Broken Speaker Symphony (BSS) is an album for those who have a thing for music. From my point of view, you’ll need a second listen to get it flow into your blood stream properly. The Zip I downloaded contained eight mp3 files, One PNG image for the front cover, and then a JPEG image for a back cover. There was also a PDF story book to help drive in Paybac successfully into your world. The album played for 28:18 minutes.

BSS tries to portray the real life of a hustling nigga tryna make it in life. Judging from my first listen, Paybac’s tracks are not so catchy at first hearing, you may need to have a thing for music so you can successfully digest the tracks inside, you’ll definitely have to listen again. I won’t spend time praising him here, we already all know Paybac is good and so skillful in what he does.
From the artwork, I can say I already listened to the EP before it was release. Just take a look at those masks, think of anything you can, that’s how the song sounds.

The songs were professionally mixed from my own hearception. I’ve listened through various sound monitors and it cuts through, the vocals were clear enough to decrypt, and the instrumentals were kept tactically as simple as possible.

It tastes like the same but the difference remains there when you eat your Golden Morn cereals dry and when you soak it in warm water then dope it up with beverages. BSS is like eating raw dry golden morn. It was hardly soulful. Track 8 and Track 4 had little bit of emotions in the chord progression and the artistic ways the rappers delivered their lines.

The first track #BrokenSpeakerSymphony was the intro, a spoken poetry by a female. The vocals were accompanied by a Pad-like / sustained sound beautified with a saxophone and a soprano lady singing no particular notes. These vocals from my own hearspective were over-saturated with a lot of color from a tube amp, something like a compressor. There was no sense of space in the vocals, sounded like the lady was speaking in front of me while the backing instrumental sounds were at a distance provided the compulsory space. “It feels like, it feels like…” the vocals read out words that seemed to say something about creating something out of nothing, Kind of making something big out of little, or falling like a monster seed on the dirt then growing into a big tree.

This intro gives a very big hint to what the major tracks were gonna sound like. I can recall the poem/intro say something: “it feels like a toneless melody” and that is exactly how BSS sounds. Paybac was not really interested from my own hearseption in appealing to your emotions. He had the instrumentals put together and he begins to speak his poetic lines into it. You need a lot of wisdom and concentration to decrypt the line he delivered, and until you understand where he was coming from; you may never know how much the pieces worth.

God is my Witness ft Ruby Gyang is rap music. It has a hook screaming “I’ve got to get it, cos God is my witness”. It started with Paybac rapping, and then a hook he took himself. On the verses Paybac talks about his music hustles tryna get ‘it’. He has this leis affair intonation that makes him sound like “I’m just telling you o, no strings attached”. Paybac is rough. Paybac sounds like he doesn’t care, he’s just rapping with his light vocals with neither totally no low ends nor warmth in it, and he has this foreign American accent that makes you want to listen twice before you hear the wordings of his rap. This hook had around 3 female voices backing them up alongside a wind orchestra like a trumpet. The instrumental has a lot of sampled vocals and other unrelated sounds put together in a regular order though capable of distracting a nonchalant listener from the real message. DJ scratches and hats kept on adding a lot of brightness to it. The acoustic drum rolls at the background were programmed to go along side. They didn’t look like they were played live though. It was obviously a mouse job, and this track comes so abruptly to an end on waiting for a third verse so I can fully get the message.

Second song, Paybac’s Volvo Music had his rap vocals wrapped up with some virtual room reverb that makes him sound like he’s in an empty hall; the voice was clean. Started with some greetings like he was talking on stage then he takes you through the story line where he was driving a Volvo into life. He sounded like a boy whose father owned a Volvo though. Lol. He talks about his dreams and fantasies yet to be achieved even at age 23. He just kept on wishing on this track: wishing he could leave his worries behind and drive into his dreams.

Waiting Game ft YVNG Po’ and Boogey is the fourth track and my favorite. The chord progression here poked my emotions a little. The vocals were really wrapped in this reverb that blurred things up as well as adding mood and soul to it; this song is capable of awakening your deepest emotions and feelings. The hook will always cut in at intervals with this female vox that added more fuel to the burning fire of emotions created by the verses, and who ever mixed this song will take it off all of a sudden like leading you into the forest and just leaving you there dramatically. The rappers were talking about ladies, love and their negative sides.

5th track, The Bad Bitch song is that funky hip-hop track with acoustic drums and rolls playing via an old tape machine like in the 90s and also has these backing vocals from a female. Here I heard Paybac lamenting from a telephone equalized vocals “real love aint real” for the hook. He talks about this bad bitch he did stuffs with. This song has a lot of something that sounds like dithering. No emotional appeals at all. This track sounds like someone was just discarding empty drink cans then Paybac was rapping to the sound it made. This sound tastes plastic, like someone chewing raw Golden Morn; you don’t get the sweet taste after the first few chews, and you have to patiently chew further.

6th track, The Nazarene ft Jumar is another hip-hop rap. The verses sounded so dry (I mean unedited) except for something that had its low ends completely taken off by an analogue equalizer. With a clean delivery Paybac talks about doubts on his career by people around him. He mixes pidgin with pure English. Jumar in the hook adds his crying vocals that often sound so sweet to the hearing. This track also has a lot of sampled voices and DJ scratches adding more swag to it. I could cry along with Jumar if only the producer permitted him to sing a little longer.

Beautiful Seed ft Danny Gomez, Ruby Gyang and Charlie X is a jazz hip-hop track that takes us back a little to the real hip-hop era, that unadulterated era when hip-hop was just hip hop, that 2pac era, you know what I’m saying. Here Paybac talks about this beautiful seed which he succeeded in describing as an unrealized dream, an expectation or an unborn child, like he’s expecting a baby soon. He tells this seed about his hustles and the way life is hard around here. Second verse was taken by Charlie X; n*gga has a clean moving tongue that pronounces the words clear enough.

The 8th track Waiting Game Reprise ft. X'n'O is way soulful; soulful rap I’ll call it, same chord movement as track 4 with female choir vocals that comes on and off periodically. It has these male rap vocals. Xploit and ODC spit out lines that are capable of touching the heart. After that came Paybac’s vocals which always reminded me of those masks (Scary, weird, abnormal). Whenever I think of those masks, the first thing that comes to my mind is abnormal. The hook was briefly sung by female vocals that sounded like Ruby Gyang’s from an equalized mic system with more sense of space (room reverb) unlike the verse rap vocals; this was where the grand piano keys appeared and left before you could notice it. I heard Paybac make reference to Jayz, seems he has been listening to a lot of Jay-Z lately.

In the accompanying eBook, he tries to describe himself and his life. He skillfully encrypted the real message in foreign sentences; a word combination that an inattentive reader will not decrypt. The real idea being communicated was actually hidden under different ideas which were barely related, and that was why every paragraph seemed meaningless at first glance. All the works of art in this BSS need a second look to be able to drive in the message. Initially after listening to the album the first time with no real sense harvested, I felt reading the eBook will explain it better. This eBook ended up leaking this Trojan horse into my brain and I got confused further.

BSS is not an EP that will be loved illiterates, it's for the learned. It doesn’t cut through a lot of music lovers. But this collection is obviously fine wine for lovers of weirdness, lovers of rap music, patient people. BSS communicates the mind of an average / mid age gang star out in the street tryna make it, drilling his own money well into life.

This album will obviously capture more of intellectual human beings. It doesn’t give you a first impression excitement, but the skillful deliveries will obviously make you stick around till the end.
BSS is more of poetry than music; Charlie X did a great job here too. You can enjoy listening to this too.

Reviewed by:  Chidinma 'Spane5' Victor (@Spane5alive)


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