Illustrate - The Stuff LP [Headcount Records]Having already reviewed Illustrate’s ‘Work’ EP means I’ve already assessed 4 out of 14 tracks on ‘The Stuff’, make sure you check out my review of that as well as reading this. Right, on with the review then.

The more amusing than most intro kicks things off and consists of a jaunty self produced beat and a load of samples referring to ‘The Stuff’. ‘My Hat’ comes next and ‘Sick of It’ follows. ‘Sick of It’ is a Just Jack-ish (but with proper rapping) guitar led tune that’s just a little melancholic - after all it’s about all the stuff Illustrate’s sick off. Thankfully ‘Do What You Like’ rushes in, scoops up the mood and throws it sky high thanks to the light hearted subject matter and Sloth’s airy jazz.

And the album continues this way. Illustrate seems to have sequenced the album to constantly change the way you feel and as I’ve said before, his music and writing is emotive and that’s a powerful skill to possess. Lead track ‘The Stuff’ perfectly demonstrates the slightly eccentric place where Ollie Bates finds his ideas when he refers to Braintax liking his album then drops a sample of the Low Life head honcho – ‘A big sound system playing the stuff’.

The only real dud moment is ‘Killing Celebrities’ where Illustrate does his angry white violent-but-only-joking rapper impression by listing celebrities and how he’d kill them. Rather uninspiring.

‘The Stuff’ has high entertainment value and despite the variety of emotions portrayed, has a very happy-go-lucky vibe to it- which is a nice balance for an album to have. It’s a good album to debut with and is a highlight in this year’s more subterranean rap releases. It’s out on November 17th on Headcount Records and will be available for sure from Suspect Packages.

By: Aidan Severs |

Illustrate - The Stuff LP [Headcount Records]

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