ALBUM REVIEW

Specswizard

Cool Mike: The Untold Story

Released December 2016

What I love about Specswizard is how he “keeps raps organic” with a deep commitment to using vintage gear. On his six-track EP Cool Mike: The Untold Story, each song is formed from a single intriguing, looping sample, where throughout he finds small ways to change it, pulling in snippets of dialogue, environment sounds, even the clicks and clacks of the sampling machinery. The Wizard has been at this a while and his production is masterfully lo-fi. He’s “from the town where it’s drizzling…” and he’s come to show us how it’s done. “Sheets” has a beat moving at odds with verses that talk about the daily grind of excellence, while on “NHB,” he’s on a beach, drinking a Mai Tai, laughing in a flow that feels effortless, at the rest of us and our silly, quantized, auto-tuned computers.

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