artworks-000027780116-xozniy-original.jpeg
As I mentioned in a Short List blurb last month,

The names of MCs Silas Blak and Jace Ecaj pop up in the annals of

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Black Stax's High Rhymes Smoking Jackets EP With Rob Castro Gets Back to the Basics

artworks-000027780116-xozniy-original.jpeg
As I mentioned in a Short List blurb last month,

The names of MCs Silas Blak and Jace Ecaj pop up in the annals of Seattle-area rap going back well over a decade. Their joint rhyme moniker, Silent Lambs Project, has adorned some of the most electric and artful hip-hop the city has ever been able to claim. When the two partner with vocalist Felicia Loud, they are Black Stax, a project that has allowed each to expand the borders of their creativity, as Loud's spiritual/soulful voice floats over and among the deep, smoky verses spit by Blak and Jace, creating swirling, forceful, yet gorgeous moments.

Any Black Stax/Silent Lambs record is one to get excited about if you're a fan of local rap. I personally snatch up most of their offerings post haste, if not only to get my fix of classically-styled beats and rhymes. Life got busy this past month, however, and I've just now reached back through time and listened to last month's High Rhymes Smoking Jackets, Black Stax's latest EP. It's the first installment in what they've dubbed their "Producer Series"; a sequence of projects, each with a different producer, that will theoretically expand upon different aspects of their sound. For their first venture, they've partnered with Oldominion/Grayskul-affiliated producer/bassist Rob Castro, and the result is a vintage-sounding jaunt that explores the group's most basic musical instincts.

The beats are looped samples that (listen to that warm crackle) sound like they were lifted right out of their vinyl environment. They are well-mixed, and laced with subtle effects, but the tinny drums and unmasked nature of the samples leaves the vibe all old school. Jace Ejac and Silas Blak prove again here that they can breathe life into any beat, and do just that. Their deep-voiced verses playing right into Castro's low-bpm constructs. Stax singer Felicia Loud's multi-tracked lines--as always--create a beautifully surreal backdrop for the to MCs to venture across. All in all, it's a worthy addition to the growing Black Stax catalogue. Listening: recommended...

 
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