Listening too HLI‘s debut EP, Omniglyph is like having an orgasm (without a condom) whilst tripping on magic mushrooms or in short: mind blowing hip-hop. There is nothing more enjoyable when hip-hop boys go all science fiction on us and get it right; with tracks like Unseen Universe, Elai Immortal and Sensei C (the duo who form this group) assassinate this song and others with their weaponry of words.
Whilst, Vectors epitomizes the attitude of the group its fun, dangerous; but still traditionally hip-hop with the scratches and what I call BBoy galactica. It is indeed a cosmic experience, where they emit sonic sound waves that tap into your cerebral vortex and leave you bemused.
The aptly named, Omniglyph serves its purpose as psychological warfare and as a listener you wonder, “What does ‘Omniglyph’ even mean?” Its the kind of word you would expect to find in a book about Quantum Physics; which may explain why their lyrics are mysteries wrapped in an enigma or enigmas wrapped in a mystery. The overall production compliments this dystopian feel with dark, haunting, melancholic beats that echoes throughout each track. Yet, they disturb this equilibrium with the remixes of the six tracks that makes up this EP and you ponder, “Have I participated in a mind control experiment?”.
Although HLI has been orbiting the hip-hop-hemisphere for the past eight years and has recently supported the Anti Pop Consortium and GZA; they may be the best thing from Birmingham since Cadbury World and Juice Aleem who too features on this EP. The stunning artwork that accompanies this EP reminisces the time when art on a CD’s sleeve was just as important as its content. With that said, HLI are a part of who new breed of UK lyricists and beat makers creating a futuristic hip-hop sound which we so desperately need.
By: Janine Francois