Carving a niche between boom bap and his own brand of lo-fi grimey electronica, Skoop Records co-founder Tzusan is breathing new life into UK hip hop. Fizzy Milk, the second full length outing from the Edinburgh based producer and rapper, opens a window to the piss-stained streets of Scotland that leaves a stench of ammonia burning in your nostrils and a graphic portrait of industrial decay seared into your mind’s eye.
On ‘Belfast Harbour’, urban soundscapes and wailing sirens are countervailed by the rise and fall of melancholic choral pads and razor-sharp synths. Simple yet devastatingly effective bass slabs hint that while this is not your typical club track, it was certainly built to be played at bone crushing volume. As the intro fades, a tense moment of nervous anticipation dominates the remaining seconds of calm before the crack of a snare brings Tzusan’s grim vision into sharp relief.
A clever trick repeated throughout the album, the vocals on ‘Belfast Harbour’ lurk towards the back of the mix, resulting in a kind of sinister whispered effect that enhances the story telling aesthetic Tzusan has crafted. Characterised by clever word play, a dark sense of humour and a compellingly cynical brand of social commentary, this is a refreshingly original body of music that manages to be ‘intellectual’, but never self-important. Top draw material from a promising young artist.