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Riz MC - MICroscope

Riz MC, Microscope

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

RIZ MC’s debut album MICroscope is, according to its PR, an album that bristles with risks, intensity and intelligence.

The risk factor is certainly evident on tracks like Sour Times, which drops a number of volatile statements, while the intensity is evident throughout in the provocactive lyrics and atmospheric production values.

Album opener Radar, for instance, drops a really foreboding future beat and comes complete with menacing “I can’t turn my radar off” lyrics and bleeps and blips. Sadly, it’s not an endearing start.

People Like People then porports to know that “people like people to be like bras, go with their clothes and push up their stance”. But it’s not really that intelligent. It drops an accompanying beat that flirts with drum ‘n’ bass (although, admittedly, some of the observations are comical).

Elsewhere, All in the Ghetto harks back to his infamous debut release Post 9/11 Blues and makes fun of something that’s going on everywhere you look, and something we’re all a part of. It’s about gentrification and trendy ghetto living, vegan cafes and crack-heads on the same street corner.

Again, Riz displays some humourous touches and some of his instrumental arrangements are endearing, but the track fails to grab as a whole.

While Dark Hearts marks the sound of the album at its worst, taking the form of a futuristic grime banger about the snake pit we all find ourselves in at some point – surrounded by fake smiles that we see through, but we still give back.

The video is an homage to Blade Runner that’s been directed by Ed Tracy, BAFTA winning director of Fonejacker and Facejacker.

Of the other tracks worth commenting on, Sour Times is sure to gain him further notoriety… given that it reflects on the state of post 7/7 Britain.

It does have a lot of intelligent things to say, noting that politicians are culpable in making the disaffected susceptible to being brain-washed by others who would make them strap bombs to themselves, but sentiments such as “the truth is Al-Qaeda doesn’t really exist” and “why they calling in post 7/7” are still controversial.

The overall result is an album that’s neither as vital nor as endearing as it would like to think it is.

Track listing:

  1. Radar
  2. People Like People
  3. Don’t Sleep
  4. Get On It
  5. All In The Ghetto
  6. Dark Hearts
  7. Bubble Wrapped
  8. All of You
  9. Hundreds & Thousands
  10. Sour Times