Simple Samples - Moonlight Vibes CD [Simple Samples]

Moonlight Vibes is a diverse mix of Jazz infused Hip-Hop, mixed with a gritty northern sound and soul and a tiny grime feel. Track one, Moonlight Intro, starts off with a radio playing tracks featuring the word Moonlight and gives listeners a sample of what’s to come.

Dark Matter, Track two, has a jazz style into to it and the simple beat again which is what you need when the lyricism is this good. Some of the best rhyming I’ve heard in a long time (I’m not just saying that because Scrabble paid me to) lol, no seriously the way they construct the words and the way they seem to have a cipher in the middle of the track going back and froth which is something fresh and new.

Track three, Lethal Weapon, starts off with a simple xylophone or marimba tune and then a fast paced beats come in and the combination is simple but sounds amazing. Then Dwell comes and rhymes and just makes you wonder with his quick-paced lyricism. The thing is this track is only a snippet so it makes you wonder if this is only a snippet what the whole track is going to be like! The track has a face paced feel and the simple beat and melody compliments the rhyming style and it works extremely well.

Now Intro’s are usually meant to be only seconds long but track four the Riverbank (Intro) confused me a little. I was expecting a short thing but it sounded like a whole track. Starting off with some radio play and continuing with what sounded like a live show and then some laughing like it came off a TV show. The track then continues with a mellow jazz track. Which follows onto the next track called Tales From The Riverbank pt. II. The next instalment in the Tales From The Riverbank Series.

The beat is again simple and kind of old-school and this has got to be a favourite of mine, the jazz track behind a hip-hop beat has only been done by a couple of people like Guru and sometimes artists try it but find-out hold one this doesn’t work but, Simple Samples do it again and make it work really well. The track is laid-back and is definitely something you could listen to when relaxing. It’s amazing how they’ve combined such a simple jazz melody and the old-school beat and combined it with their fast-paced lyricism which was slowed down a tiny bit on this one.

Track six called, Dream brings in a soul-infused melody / James Bond sounding track and again bring in a simple beat. The track starts with the repeat of a part at the start but it allows Scrabble’s rhyming to develop and bring something new to the industry. Also, a snippet makes you think if this is a snippet how good is the whole track going to be. This track is the definition of laid-back hip-hop.

The Program, track seven on the Mixtape starts off with a piano melody and then the beat comes in again and there’s a bit which sounds like it’s from a movie then Scrabble comes in talking about hard times- “This once brave nation is now deep into recession / the credit crunch feeding our jobs to the depression”. Nice line that I think everyone can relate to. The track has a bit of a dark feel to it but, it doesn’t get too dark that you think I don’t want to listen to this anymore. Everything that’s said is understandable and clear and the flow still continues to amaze me.

Track eight, Comes To The Crunch (Skit) talks about what’s happening to the economy and Dwell’s production adding a beat and melody into it works well. It sounds really good.

Simple SamplesWriter’s Block, track nine starts off with the familiar jazzy tune and continues with an old-school beat and Dwell starts off with this one, spitting the chorus. It’s amazing how these guys rhyme with no effort at all the track talks about Dwell and Scrabble having trouble writing a track but this expresses the anger of a writer not being able to think of anything to write down and rhyme, frustration that comes to a lot of artists and writers alike. Not too sure about the last part of the track though, someone talks about what writer’s block is and it does sound a bit like a Dr. Seuss book which confused me.

Closer which is track ten featuring Meta, is a good track and the rhyming is raw with a clear production and the Manchester swag. This track is where both Scrabble and Dwell come hard and show people what they’re all about. One to listen to, to get you hyped and Meta brings his grimey feel and sound to the track and it shows how diverse and versatile the rhyming styles of Dwell and Scrabble are. One minute being chilled out and relaxed and the next coming hard with a track and showing exactly what they can do.

Track eleven, A Lil Ham ’n Eggs (Skit) shows off Dwell’s production and ability with this skit. Trust me an amazing producer think I’m going to need to ask him for some tips!

Brick House, track twelve brings a funky feel to the album. The track is about promiscuous women by what I’ve heard and tells about the trouble of that girl who goes out and gets completely wasted and shows off everything to people regardless of who they are. The track is cleverly mastered and brought together by the lyricism and is another chilled-out and relaxed track which this album seems to bring to all the tracks. It’s that easy listening vibe and one of those albums where you don’t feel the need to skip any tracks because they’re all just too sick! The track ends with that infamous you tube clip of that spoilt girl who gets a car that’s a wrong colour for her birthday lol, which is kind of unexpected but brings in that theme of those girls.

Mad As Ken featuring Fluid, track thirteen starts off with someone beat boxing and its an unusual way to start a track and even more unusual to rhyme over it and bringing a futuristic sound to the track the rhyming is on point as usual but personally I wasn’t feeling the Beaton part but the beat came in and kind of changed my mind, The track is good but not exactly something I like, it’s different from the jazz / soul infused sound of previous tracks but the track talks about aliens and little green men which doesn’t really appeal to me but it’s an OK track.

Track fourteen, Kingpin (Instrumental) is one of my favourite instrumentals ever it starts with a radio interview with Pete Rock talking about his thoughts, it then continues with a guitar part and the beat which works really well. The track is laid-back, relaxed, sick bass line and is something I really like and then the singing comes in and it’s still laid back it’s a perfect way to finish off an amazing Mixtape.

Overall Moonlight Vibes is one of the most amazing and diverse hip-hop Mixtapes I’ve heard in a long time.

It brings in elements of Soul, Jazz, funk and mixes them all together with simple old-school Hip-Hop beats and is something I’m urging you to go and get as it’s an album where I listened to every single track, even the skits. And usually I don’t listen to skits on an album and I know people will be thinking you should listen to it all, you’re supposed to but I serious did and I haven’t regretted it!

The Moonlight Outro has a kind of Middle Eastern / Egyptian feel to it and the way it’s Mixtape is something I would’ve expected from Simple Samples. The beat is old-school but brings an amazing effect to the track, and emphasises that Hip-Hop can become as diverse as you want it to be. Especially with the very last part of a guy singing about music he doesn’t like listening to on the radio, but loving Hip-Hop and loving Jay-Z, chilling with Wu-Tang which is a taken from a stand-up comedy show. Very diverse indeed!

Simple Samples, definitely not simple with this Mixtape, seriously the Mixtape is on fire, get a copy!

By: Nikhil Sharma |

Track List:

01. A Moonlight Intro
02. Dark Matter
03. Lethal Weapon Edit
04. Riverbank Intro
05. Tales from the Riverbank Part II
06. Dreams
07. The Program
08. Comes To The Crunch (Skit)
09. The Writer’s Block
10. Closer (ft. Meta)
11. A Lil’ Ham & Eggs (Skit)
12. Brick House
13. Mad as Ken (ft. Fluid)
14. Kingpin (Instrumental)
15. Moonlight Outro

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