The burger boys are back bitches! Timbuktu and Ghettosocks team up with The Herbaliser for their new album – Hivemind.
Six years after dropping their debut album Timbuktu and Ghettosocks – aka Teenburger – return with a new long-player. Teaming up with U.K. production duo The Herbaliser, Tim and ‘socks are once again unleashing their new sound / old-school brand of pop-culture infused hip-hop.
Aptly titled ‘Hivemind‘, the album celebrates the symbiosis the pair exhibit in their music, both via their intricate wordplay and shared interests which shine through their lyrics.
Teenburger are: Toronto based producer and emcee, Timbuktu and Halifax rapper Ghettosocks. The pair are long-time collaborators with The Herbaliser, and both rappers appear on their 2012 album ‘There Were Seven‘. From the album they produced a fun video for the track ‘March of the Dead Things‘.
The Herbaliser are: Producer Jake Wherry and DJ Ollie Teeba who have cemented their place in the U.K. music scene as pioneers of rare groove, jazz and hip-hop throughout the course of a career that spans in excess of two decades.
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Stand out track: I’m Gonna / We Never
The overall sound of Hivemind is difficult to pin down to one style alone. The Herbaliser sound is evident throughout and glues the release together, but the tone readily shifts in intensity from one song to the next.
Opening track ‘Two Dudes, One Brain’ is a poster board for the inspiration of the album before giving way to my stand out ‘I’m Gonna, We Never’. Not only do the emcee’s showcase their ability to bounce lines from one to the other, the lyrics are cleverly accentuated by vocal samples in the beat.
In fact, this synergy between vocals and music is recurrent throughout. Cleverly crafted rhyme schemes meld seamlessly with beats that are intricate and interesting. ‘Mass Hypnosis’ features a discordant chorus that leaves me feeling queasy. Like it shouldn’t work, but combine the beat and the vocals and, damn, it’s in your head all day.
The title track is a dark, busy and bass-heavy track with laboured snare and hats. Adversely ‘The Weirding Way’ is tight, light and laden with cuts forming a canvass for Timbuktu and Ghettosocks to showcase their lyrical dexterity – plus it references Galactus and Battlestar Galactica – which will get me on-side any day of the week.
‘Drones’ which features Philly rapper Mega Ran, is a much more serious sounding track, clever in its production value with Beastie Boy’s ‘Intergalactic‘ subtly sampled. Skip ahead one more song and ‘All of the Above’ is a triumph in old-school boom-bap with fun lyrics littered with pop-culture references.
That’s how ‘Hivemind‘ goes. A journey through varying styles of hip-hop bound together by a common groove. Even on the darkest tracks, the album is painted with light hearted themes presented through clever lyricism and exemplary delivery.
‘Hivemind’ is, then, an album for musos who’ll appreciate clever sampling and the subtleties in the production, mixing and cuts. Equally this is an album for those who appreciate fun hip-hop without having to think too hard about how it was made. Something for everyone.
My only major criticism is that some of the ‘filler’ between tracks or introductions to songs (samples from movies mostly) becomes tedious after multiple listens with no easy way to skip.
‘Hivemind’ is available wherever you get your music including the Teenburger bandcamp page where you can get all twelve tracks starting from $10 for a digital download.
Great lyricism, fantastic delivery accompanied by clever production. So much to love. – 4/5