Styles: this is not an Anticon record. True, the sounds and song structures may be similar and comparable on many levels of musicianship. However, one thing remains apparent; Nomar Slevik's approach is intri
Others: Anticon, The Arsonists, The Pharcyde
Prior to divulging myself into describing Portland, Maine's Nomar Slevik's intriguing and mind-blowing hip-hop conceptions, one thing must be clear: this is not an Anticon record. True, the sounds and song structures may be similar and comparable on many levels of musicianship. However, one thing remains apparent; Nomar Slevik's approach is intriguingly distinctive and manages to avoid the overabundant criticism artists receive when their personal styles conflict with others, especially Anticon. Slevik's newest release, Paper Bullets, is his third album, following the mildly successful and acclaimed Purple Lights and April Foolishness and the self-released bootleg, Deadcats and Microphones.
Paper Bullets is described as an album of duets. All of the songs are built as collaborations with some of Slevik's favorite independent hip-hop artists, seventeen emcees contributing to the album. The combinations and partnerships are often implausible, mixing an immense variety of views and opinions that shape and identify the complete record and its intensity. From the Armageddon-like cadence of Mole and Demune on "Shocking Blue Day," to the breathy, sultry, and absorbing vocals of Geneva B on "Is That Your Final Cancer?," each song is constructed to exhibit each emcee's strength. Many songs will conjure comparisons to prolific hip-hop acts such as The Arsonists, The Pharcyde, and again, Anticon. Furthermore, the associated musicianship is incredibly crafted and arranged throughout the record.
With a faultless, intuitive musical accompaniment on each song, Paper Bullets is unmistakably brilliant and merits a surfeit of praise and admiration. "Metallic Smoke Screens" showcases a deep and infectious bassline accompanied with a catchy and quirky piano loop, while "Every Rapper" thickens up the pace, convoyed with a guitar arrangement that magnifies the aggressive vocal delivery. Almost spotless and eloquently crafted, Paper Bullets is an accumulation of gifted hip-hop music.
Although the two previous records established Slevik's absurd and illogic approach to hip-hop, Paper Bullets gracefully attributes to his undeniable talent. Produced, arranged and performed by Slevik himself, this record is a truly depictive analysis of his personal relationship with the music he creates and molds. On the back sleeve of Paper Bullets is this quote: "Passerby see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on their way" — Vincent Van Gogh. I urge any listener and follower of independent hip-hop music to knock on the door and walk in. Nomar Slevik will be standing inside ready to blow your mind.
1. An introduction to paper bullets
2. First in space
3. Shocking blue day
4. The treestump
5. Arm of the white sea
6. Is that your final cancer?
7. An interlude with DJ Jon
10. Metallic smoke screens
11. Every rapper
12. Chocolate covered barett
14. Dark side of a sunspot
16. Some kind of redemption