In broken Britain, everyone knows that nothing comes for free. Well, Edinburgh-based record label, Music Comes First, seem determined to break that mould by offering up a handful of free releases from its catalogue of artists.
The most recent of which, “The Ramblin' EP” by Madhat McGore, certainly has the potential to make people stand up and take notice of what’s going on above the border.
A few months back, I had the pleasure of being introduced to the M.C.F guys at a Stig and Syntax gig. Having no prior knowledge of the label, I was unsure of what to expect. After just a few seconds of the first tune though, it became apparent that these guys had something different.
Madhat, along with label-mates Nity Gritz and Blasfima Sinna, proceeded to rock the mics with possibly the strongest Scottish accents that I, personally, had ever heard grace a hip-hop beat.
After eventually managing to tune my ear to the Celtic dialect, the trio’s tunes certainly got me curious as to what else was brewing up in Edinburgh.
Down the line, Madhat has just dropped “The Ramblin’ EP” and is certainly making a strong case in favour of giving these guys a bit of exposure.
The nine-track EP is a solid release that seems to cover all the bases. With a nice mixture of straight-up hip-hop, dubstep-inspired and lively grime beats, all punctuated by Madhat’s gruff and unashamedly broad Scottish accent, you would have to be a fool not to take the time to get onto the website and get yourself a copy. It’s free!
Madhat offered up the following explanation: “The idea behind doing the free stuff was that it’s a wee bit cheeky to come out and expect people to buy things that they’ve never heard and don’t know much about. So we thought fuck it, let’s chuck some stuff out for free…”
The EP starts out with it’s own namesake track, “Ramblin”, which is your usual introduction track where Mr McGore takes the chance to serve us with a fat serving of male bravado and shout-out’s to his home-town and crew. That should not, however, be taken as a bad thing. The beat, which comes courtesy of Lazy Beats, is a nice chilled offering that allows Madhat to easily demonstrate his lyrical talents, regardless of subject matter.
From here on in though, the EP tends to divert away from hip-hop in favour of livelier backing: “Chose Me” sees Madhat's lyrics bouncing nicely over the electro-pop inspired beat where “I Don't Care” sees him jumping on the dubstep bandwagon to good effect.
Madhat said: “With this EP, I just wanted to do something a bit different to show my diversity. My aim was to make songs that people are going to dance to. As opposed to when we do gigs and everybody’s just standing watching. I want to make beats that people can dance along to. And sing along to. Tunes that people can really get into”.
This becomes clear on the pick of the tracks from the EP, “My Friends Say”. Madhat and King Response let loose on a grimey Show N’ Prove beat that is sure to get crowds bouncing.
So much so, in fact, that the remix of the tune has attracted a guest feature from a certain Mr Ricochet Klashnekoff. Be sure to look out for the video of the remix, which is due for release in the next couple of weeks.
“Klashnekoff came up and he was very interested in the Scottish scene”, Madhat said. “I’d hope that this collab is going to open a few doors so that my name will get a bit more known down south, and in the London circle.
I’d like to be able to go down to London and rip up a mic and be recognised for what I do”.
Unfortunately for all of us, however, the remix of “My Friends Say” is not available on the free download of the EP. Madhat added: “If you’re going to want the Klashnekoff version, you’re going to have to go out and buy the CD”.
That being said, it would certainly not be money down the drain. Far from it! “The Ramblin’ EP” is a well-rounded offering that caters for all tastes. The variety of beats allows Madhat to demonstrate his lyrical diversity and well-honed delivery while, at the same, time getting your feet tapping and your head nodding.
If you’re not already downloading the free version of this, do it. If you want to hear the K-lash version of the remix of “My Friends Say”, go out and buy it. You won’t be disappointed.
Be sure to check out http://www.mcfr.co.uk for free CDs and downloads…
By: Phil Clark