Prepare to laugh in the face of monochrome mundanity and experience a multicoloured smorgasbord of livewire lyricism laid atop a bed of fluorescent funk with Imperial & K.I.N.E.T.I.K’s Adventures in Technicolour.
How many times have you heard hip hop fans cry for the old school days to return? I must admit I’ve fallen victim to this way of thinking (I miss Old Kanye), but I’ve since stopped. Why? Because the past is the past and whatever we have now are different stories in hip hop music and many I’m personally unfamiliar with. There are plenty of incredible artists recapturing that golden age essence and mixing it with modern soundscapes. Imperial & K.I.N.E.T.I.K have found their home in this contemporary hip hop story.
But some background for the uninitiated. Imperial (aka Dave Walker, producer and mix engineer from Cambridge, UK) & K.I.N.E.T.I.K (aka Chris Mitchell, emcee from London) released their debut EP Pencils Not Pistols in 2013 and have been a force to be reckoned with ever since. Their latest album, as described by themselves in the sub-heading, is bursting with musical colour from start to finish and you’ll struggle to find a release as sonically bright as this. A niggling problem I’ve found with underground UK hip hop albums in recent times is sub-standard production – the mixing and mastering. Adventures in Technicolour has no problems in that area and that’s down to the expertise of Imperial (he’s a qualified music tech teacher and holds a degree in the subject don’t you know?). Compositionally, the rhythms are diverse, swinging and in the pocket when necessary. The melodies swell with emotions, both happy and pensive but strong in conviction throughout. K.I.N.E.T.I.K keeps it uncomplicated with the rhymes and that suits the beats perfectly as tongue twisters would take away from the musical landscape and both deserve to share the centre stage. But in the clarity of prose comes a relatable connection – rhymes on childhood, music back in the day, general reminiscing – and that makes up for any verbal gymnastics you may wanted.
As an icing on the cake, Adventures in Technicolour also features some great guest appearances including Oddisee, Micall Parknsun, Michigan’s James Gardin and king of the hooks, Tone Richardson. A lot of styles are visited on this album and you’ll leave the journey refreshed for the next track. I can’t recommend Adventures in Technicolour and I’m running out of adjectives and metaphors so stream the album below and buy it if you enjoyed it as much as I did.