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Matson on Music

Music news, concert reviews, analysis and opinion by music writer Andrew Matson.

July 6, 2009 at 9:12 AM

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Seattle's best summertime rap: The Physics "High Society" EP (free!)

Posted by Andrew Matson

physicsCover.jpg

It's drizzly right now (needed that, actually), but if you like or have ever liked hiphop, your sunny Seattle summer will be woefully incomplete without this music.

Download link here. Do it. It's legal.

"High Society" is the Physics' victorious jump from potential excellence to actual excellence, and is a double success. Not only are the rhymes and backdrops better than anything the group's done before, "High Society" radiates confidence in its own smoothed-out, thinking-man's party vibe, balancing noticeable technical progression (so nice to see young men working on their craft!) by sticking to stylistic guns (self-confidence and a sense of identity...so rare in local rap!).

About those stylistic guns: Basically, "High Society" is for fans of A Tribe Called Quest, or, locally, 1990's Seattle-hop made under the Tribal Productions banner (the closest Seattle ever got to A Tribe Called Quest's Native Tongues movement). The beats sound like they're made from samples, the samples sound like they came from jazz and R&B, and the raps sound like regular guys talking about regular things...except they're smart and have great taste in music, so they're not really that regular, if you think about it. But I recommend you not think about it.

"High Society" isn't confrontational or in any way abrasive, but not weak either. It's lifestyle rap. It'll make you feel good and never insult your intelligence, which is a lot harder to pull off than it sounds.

Press release after the jump.

_____________________________


Two years after the release of their critically lauded full length debut, Future Talk, Seattle-based hip hop group The Physics are back with June 2009's release of High Society, an eight track EP of new material representing a natural progression both musically and personally. Steeped heavily in references to jazz and soul, Just D'Amato's production (alongside Phee Dill & Dyalect) provides the smoothed-out backdrop against which lyricists Thig Natural and Monk Wordsmith (absent from Future Talk but a notable presence here) do their thing and do it with skill. Featuring guest appearances by beastly Seattle MCs Language Arts ("Back Track") and Macklemore ("Good") as well as one of the year's most buzzed about local duos, the fresh-as-all-hell females of Thee Satisfaction ("Radio Head"), High Society dims the lights on the laidback aesthetic established in Future Talk and invites the listener to get real grown--and enjoy it. While this EP may feel like a main course, don't get it twisted: it's merely just a taste of what's to come, a prelude to an additional as-yet-untitled release slated for later in the summer.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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