- The chemistry of the trio.
- The amusing skit snippets and philosophical soundbite.
- The impeccable imagery offered throughout.
Jam Baxter and Ed Scissor combined to cook up one of the most delicious audible cakes of the year in the form of their ‘Laminated Cakes’ album.
Produced in entirety by GhostTown (Dead Players beat-master) this much needed slice of greatness / rejuvenation comes at a time when the majority of mainstream rap is relentlessly churning out fast food style junk that is as shallowly consumed as it is concocted, it effectively goes in one ear and straight out the other devoid of any worthwhile messages or lasting imprint, but worry not as the Fraff Champions have provided a healthy plate filling dose of stimulating nutritious brain food tunes to digest.
The album release came as a bit of a surprise to some as the High Focus dons teased a ‘special drop’ to come out on the 15th December – just a day before their Christmas party gig at London’s revered KOKO venue (which was awesome!!!) – but to fans who were privy to the release of ‘Pipe Smoke’; one of the many standout tracks on the record, as it dropped on the High Focus YouTube channel back in 2012, they have endured a solid five year wait to hear the full layers and icing, so will definitely have been glad at the prospect of being able to consume the rest of the buffet. Those who haven’t heard it yet for whatever reason, its okay you are forgiven but be sure to lend your ears!! Don’t waste another day thinking you’re satisfied with mediocre Sainsbury’s basics when you could be demolishing an M&S banquet! Whichever of these boats you’re paddling along in, the album will definitely not disappoint.
Coming in at just under forty minutes, the lyrical connoisseurs Baxter and Scissor tear up in a rather relentless and somewhat rude fashion the glistening beats GhostTown so gracefully blessed them with to create a such sumptuous tapestry as ‘Laminated Cakes’; an eerie sonic canvas ready to be splattered with the finest of paints, if lyrics were colours that is.
What a way to begin the feast: To the enticingly laid backing female vocals that reek of smoothness and speaks to the soul which develops into a punchy yet silky backdrop Ed and Jam announce they’re gonna “take you to the stars man” as they sew and weave their respectively playful and intricate fusion of words which they fully proceed to throughout the duration of the project.
A personal favourite cut which considering the standard quality upheld on each track is not an easy selection, however the display and execution of the “pirouette close line type murderous tekkers” is perhaps best summed up within the back and forth verses hurled at your cranium over the suitably atmospheric spacey vibe the beat provides. Give it a listen:
‘Laminated Cake’s only features appear on this fittingly titled track from long time co-conspirator and label-mate Dirty Dike and UK hip hop veteran Chester P (Task Force). The ensuing barrage begins with a comical soundbite about a fellow with an amusing passion for cakes and quizzes. Chester P kicks off waxing lyrical on top of the funky and progressive rolling style energetic beat with what reminded me of a classic West Coast whistle element embedded, Dirty Dike sounds the tune off with a typically in your face delivery and blunt content after Scissor and Baxter have their turns to cause damage leaving this tune feeling reminiscent of the great Contact Play.
The release of ‘Laminated Cakes’ certainly certifies Baxter as one of my favourite artists of 2017 following the masterpiece that is Jam’s latest solo album, ‘Mansion 38’ (released in March) and only continues to greatly increase the reputation and catalogue High Focus have so far amassed in the label’s seven-approaching-eight year existence. Hats off to HF main man Fliptrix and here’s to many more successful years and quality releases!
‘Laminated Cakes’ is available directly from the High Focus website as well as usual digital outlets iTunes and Spotify.