Oh look, another great artist, releasing what looks to be another great album inside the next 4 weeks, it just wont stop. While there’s definately a tonne of new albums hitting the shelves at present and over the next few months this is one album you’re not going t miss. Lazy Grey’s The Soundtrack is due out June 26th and hails a welcome return by Lazy from many a fan.
You might expect someone with Lazy Grey’s credentials to rest on his considerable laurels. He was a pivotal foundation member of Brisbane’s hip hop movement through half a dozen crews from the late 1980s onward. As a member of Brothers Stoney with Lenwun, his On Tap cassette and the Boney & Stoney EP (with Bias B) were definitive moments for the culture in Australia. Lazy went on to release the classic Banned In Queensland LP and spearhead the 750 Rebels, a hit squad of Brisbane’s most cut-throat hip hop talent.
Lazy’s new album is The Soundtrack, a decidedly unexpected work. Rather than being the sum of his experiences to date, it is firmly grounded in the present: “This is a snap shot of ten months of penning thoughts, resulting in The Soundtrack. It’s not a soundtrack to my life, it’s more like I’m composing the soundtrack through what I do, make music, while the rest of ‘em are the actors and extras in the movie which plays out perpetually on this planet. Everyone’s playing their role, I’m just playing mine.”
As a key originator of a style that became the default template for the majority of hip hop coming out of Australia, Lazy knew it was time to flip the script. “I hope when it’s out people feel a lot has changed without the listener saying ‘what the f*ck was he thinking?’. I used conspiracy theories for the webbing of topics throughout just about every track. If you wanted to hear BBQ and beer raps, you ain’t gonna get it the same ways I’ve spat in the past. You’ve got to upgrade your styles to grow and reflect the now, not rest in the dark and wonderful past.”
The Soundtrack marks the first time Lazy Grey has given up control of production for an entire album. The honour goes to Brisbane producer V, a multi-instrumentalist whose releases to date include V (solo debut LP as Dave V), Mankind (Thorts + V) IIWII – It Is What It Is and his debut vinyl on Karsniogenics the V-EP in 2008. On this album, V sources the sounds from 1980s film soundtrack records– giving the album a consistent, deeply layered feel. Check how he taps out one verse completely live on “Show N Prove”, then flips the beat into an entirely new beast using the same set of samples on the second verse. This sort of nuance permeates the entire album, and while it may not be glaring on initial listen, the subtlety sinks in over time.
The icing on the layer cake is the cuts from Karsniogenics label boss and long time 4ZZZ FM radio host, DJ DCE aka DCIDE, who explains the creative ethos behind The Soundtrack: “We entered into a strong agreement between the three of us: V produces, Lazy raps, and I cut, no deviating from those 3 core roles. We all wanted something new and fresh to be created, whilst staying true to our roots in representing the ends of hip hop we love and respect till death.”
With its unique sound, comprehensive concept and a handful of ‘deleted scenes’ interspersed throughout the full length tracks to add to the mood, The Soundtrack is a next level project from an icon who’s not afraid to break the mould he helped create. With essential contributions from V and DCIDE, and a little help from fellow 750 Rebels Lenwun, Jake Biz, Bigfoot and Miss Brown, Lazy Grey has crafted a stellar addition to one of the most prolific and, now, diverse discographies in Australian hip hop.
The album doesn’t seem to be available for pre-order anywhere just yet, but we’ll keep you posted as we know more. In the meantime check out the video and head over to Lazy Grey’s MySpace and checkout some tracks from the album.