Heavytrackerz, odyssey, artwork

Review: Heavytrackerz exceed their own standards on bass heavy ‘Odyssey’ album

In Grime, Hip Hop, Other by Cammy Thomas

Throughout ‘Odyssey’, London production trio Heavytrackerz really do take you on an otherworldly journey of the sonic stratosphere and beyond, which would also explain the space suits on the album’s artwork. The Trackerz with the tekkerz explore many terrains on the album, through space and song, which can be experienced at their London live show on November 14, with live appearances from Big Narstie, Big Tobz, Young Tee & Bugsy, Ghetts, Lethal Bizzle, Face, Mikill Pane, Footsie, Lady Chann, Joe Grind, Inch (Section Boyz).

live nation, heavytrackerz, odyssey, xoyo

While they’re known to nail the grime sound on songs like ‘Rudeboy flex’ with Ghetts, Lethal Bizzle & Face) they also duppied their reggae flavoured ‘Survivor’ with Doctor, Inch (Section Boyz) and Joe Grind, and showed how to incorporate gospel, on the choir assisted ‘Feel the love’. RnB/Dance track ‘Days like This’ was completed by the gorgeously feminine allure of Tizzy’s vocals, and we even have a foray into the UKG arena, with a reworking of the garage classic ‘Sorry’ by DJ Luck and MC Neat, with fresh vocals from Monsta boy.

We are treated to a frustrated but brilliant Manga Saint Hilaire, airing his grievances at being overlooked on the track ‘Kore Wa Odessei’. For the drillers there’s ‘Way too much’ ft. Big Tobz, Young T & Bugsey to roll around in your (German) whip to.  No matter what your musical tastes, there are guaranteed to be a handful of tracks on ‘Odyssey: A musical journey’ that will appeal to you, which is a testament to Lord Teedot and G.Tank’s eclectic productions, and their ability to assemble a varied cast of artists of all calibres.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMNt0_DsTNU

Interestingly, the album is split into chapters, with skits from a fictional music exec named ‘Paul’ (think Eminem’s Paul skits), acting as the glue; binding each chapter together. Paul clearly doesn’t have a clue about the culture or what is considered as ‘current’, but as a head honcho at a record label he is intent on making quick money from popular music, partly based on the fact that his kids listen to it. As the skits play out, it becomes apparent Paul does not have the group’s best interests at heart, and he’s in it for selfish reasons. This allows the listener to  simultaneously follow the Trackerz’ heavy footprints, as they land on differing genres of music and the fictional character of ‘Paul’ who gasses them throughout the album, offering them everything but delivering nothing. The intro track ‘Odyssey’ features a rousing monologue from actor and director Noel Clarke who urges the young inner city brothers and sisters with ambition to “Take the bull by the horns and make your own chances, you’ve got to make your own opportunity. Create your own destiny.” As Clarke delivers his powerful speech there is a wailing female operatic voice draping his words in resilience, reminiscent of the female soprano on P.Diddy’s ‘Victory.’

P.Money then gives his insight into coming up in the “belly of the beast”, and begs we all go through the hardships he has endured. As we head into cruise ‘Control’ featuring JME, P.Money, Kurt and Donae’o, the operatic theme of the intro remains with a Phantom of the Opera type chorus, singing “We will be victorious” as Donae’o and JME sombrely remind us “We’re in control” which is essentially what this journey is about; having complete control and freedom in your creativity.

A notable quirk on this album is the way the tracks meld into each other, such as how the operatic instrumental of the intro ‘Odyssey’ leaking  into the track ‘Control, and the melancholic violin opening up on ‘Rude boy flex’, carrying over the strings from the preceding ‘Control’. The track ‘Survivor’ which talks about the struggles of the streets is connected to the opening of ‘Feel the love’ as a voice proclaims “…I love it though”, referencing the subject matter of the former track, creating a bridge between the two tracks.

The Heavy Trackerz push this merging of sounds one step further by also having the artists cross over from one track to the next, such as P.Money’s appearance on the intro ‘Odyssey’ and him sticking around to spit bars on the follow up track ‘Control’. This makes for a clever way to further solidify this project’s concept, with interlinking themes and subject matters, whilst showcasing one artist’s range in style and flow.

Tieing in with the theme of self-interested individuals like Paul, is the stunning ‘Lights’, with the crystal clear vocals of Shola Ama singing from a male perspective, and sending shivers down the listener’s spine. The track ‘Concrete Jungle’ ties up the themes running concurrently throughout the album, detailing the journey of triumph over struggle. The track also explores the battle to remain righteous and protect your clean-hearted energy, when people around you are willing you to take a fall, so they can take delight in your failure. The violins bring the sorrow, and the pianos amplify the tragic beauty in the struggle and survival.

The production duo have excelled themselves, by providing a train of heavy tracks for us to board and share in this epic and multilayered journey with them.

ΩDΨSSΣΨ: A musical journey  is available on all platforms: https://lnk.to/TheHeavytrackerz

 Make sure you hit up their first headline show, on 14th of November at XOYO, London  in partnership with Live nation. Tickets:     

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