September 27, 2016 Listening to Sydney’s Ôntreɪ – Games EP

We’re here to admire the strange lyricism of Ôntreɪ. This record is jumpy and hard to follow for moments and sometimes it’ll take three listens to figure out just why one sentence fed into the next but it’s fundamentally clever, if nothing else.

Speaking of clever, getting Godriguez on board for your production? Yep, that’s a clevbot220.

Godriguez aka The 6 Point Producer aka The Sonic Smorgasbord aka The Lord Mayor Of Cashton – yeah that Godriguez who funneled all that beat goo under Sampa The Great’s joints – came on board for this whole EP and it’s turned out to be a pivotal part of the record.

Kudos to Ôntreɪ for knowing what to do himself and what demands a different skill set because his choice of producer may well have made this release. It gets fairly minimal on tracks like ‘Ô shi’ but others like ‘Insensate’ are chunkier, full of guitar licks, samples and crunchy percussive cuts. He’s willing to let songs dissolve into standalone piano breaks and guitar lines and it means the record feels less like a ‘send-me-six-beats-I-can-rap-over’ release and more of a collaborative EP.

There’s been much talk about a new wave of Australian hip-hop and for the most part, it’s being delivered immaculately by artists like Sampa The Great, Baro, L-Fresh and Marcus. It’s informed, it’s aware and it’s characterised by culturally important commentary channeled through culturally important voices. This certainly isn’t that, but it’s a record that serves a different purpose. It’s weird and new and it’s spectacular in its mayhem.

Tommy Faith
is the editor of Sound Doctrine
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