Follow Us on Twitter

Five Deez - Kommunicator

Five Deez, Kommunicator

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

HIP-hop and electronic dance music combine to intriguing effect on Five Deez’ Kommunicator, the third album from Cincinnati-based Fat Jon, Kyle David, Pase Rock and Sonic.

Having been around since the year 2000, Five Deez will already be on the radar for anyone who likes their hip-hop to do something a little bit different. They have frequently been hailed as ‘the kings of dance-rap (or hip-house)’.

The latest album is a cool blend of hip-hop and electronica that often charts a very blurred line between the two. As such, it works as something of a hybrid – capable of appealing to fans of either genre, yet equally likely to turn people off.

When it works, it can be really impressive. From Sorrow, for example, delivers its grooves in a hundred-beats per minute style complete with double-quick rhymes and some soulful doses of electronica. It’s vocally-layered yet virtually guaranteed to get you shuffling about the dancefloor.

As is BMW, which drops in some sassy female vocals that neatly offset the emcees fast rapping style.

Black Rushmore, meanwhile, unfolds against the backdrop of a deeply ambient, chilled out beat and some soulful vocal layering that offsets the emcees gritty style with some nice whispered female vocals.

Elsewhere, the album is more deliberately hip-hop orientated in focus, such as So Good, which brings rap to the fore. The beats are still present but the vocals somehow take more prominence (assuming the same sort of fast-flowing structure as OutKast’s verses on I Like The Way You Move).

And there’s plenty of swearing on Fugg That, which combines an urban, underground flavour with more ambient, house-style beats.

The beats on Sapphire recall the style of Blockhead, especially early on, before all of a sudden changing pace around the two minute mark to keep listeners on their toes and defy easy categorisation.

While final track, The Last Time conjures some excellent DJ Shadow-style beats to bring things to a close on a grittier, funkier vibe without the need for any lyrics.

Kommunicator is therefore a pleasantly surprising album that revels in its ability to entertain without conforming to any particular pattern. It’s innovative, daring and well worth checking out for anyone who is becoming a little tired of the mainstream hip-hop scene.

Track listing:

  1. Kommunicator
  2. Fugg That
  3. Let The People Know
  4. Black Rushmore
  5. When The Silence Is Gone
  6. So Good
  7. Fifth Degree
  8. BMW
  9. From Sorrow
  10. Sapphire
  11. Last Time