Don't let the uninspired cover art fool you, Up Hygh's The Venus Album is one of the best deep and dirty hip hop soul albums of the year. Unapologetic devotees of Jay Dilla's (RIP) pioneering Detroit dirty underground soul, these barely legal Stockholm neophytes to production lace their tracks with thumping and snapping electronic drum sounds, deep bass, and synth blips. But Up Hygh's Rik Skizzo and Pure Pare no cheap imitation. They've absorbed the American vernacular sounds undetected from their perch in the northern European stratosphere and the album's a mature tribute.
In contrast to the edgy beats, the vocals are a mixture of laid-back emcee flows, sugar-sweet crooning and layered harmonies. Up Hygh share the vocal duties with underground hip hop luminaries Little Brother and Planet Asia, U.K. soul powerhouse Eska and frequent collaborator (and Raw Fusion label mate) Melo.
The long-delayed Venus is finally available through a license to the trustworthy Brighton-based Tru Thoughts label (on their hip hop-oriented Zebra Traffic imprint), which is home to Cool Hunting home-team favorites Alice Russel, and TM Juke. Order the import-only cd from Dancetracks Digital.
by DJ Scribe