The Hated Opinionated One

PSY/OPSogist Helps Open Hip-Hop’s 3rd Eye

Posted by Scotio on July 19, 2008

Yesterday, before I began my trek out of the house to go and see The Dark Knight(review of that coming soon) I was given some music that I was asked to review(album: Suffused With Static). Since I’m always eager to hear new stuff, I accepted it. Once I heard that it was by an unsigned artist(PSY/OPSogist), I was both excited and skeptical about pushing play once it was loaded into my iPod. But, alas, the play button was pushed as I made my journey from home to cinema.

What flew out of my headphones and into my ears was something I wasn’t expecting(granted, I should have figured it out by the genre classification applied to it by the creator: Fucking Ill). Of course the Intro of the music kicked in. It was a heavily distorted voice over what sounded like Vinyl minor scratching and a music box from the 1800s playing in the background. As the sound started to build, so did my eyebrow. I wasn’t sure where the path of this was going to lead. It was either one of two paths that this was going to go down: 1.) Leading to a pit of despair, 2.) A saying of a single profane word that would come about with every beat shift.

So, when the first actual track kicked in (“Birth, Space And Time”), it sounded like an opening to an industrial rock piece. But, that was just a ploy. A ruse, if you will. He tricked me. It was Hip-Hop . . . which was just what I originally assumed it would be from the Intro. But, it wasn’t crappy Hip-Hop, nor was it one filled with lyrical overstatements. It was just the beats talking for him. And, the song had a sense of magic, to me. Sadly, I don’t feel magic with much Hip-Hop, today. The last time that happened was in 2005, when I heard the instrumental music of a female producer by the name of Buttafly Plague and her “unreleased” album called Instru-Mental Bliss, Vol. 1. Before that, it was when I heard Danger Mouse‘s production for the Grey Album(No, Jay-Z wasn’t a factor in that. I give all the respects to DM).

So, for me to classify someone in that highly elite category of mine is really something to be in awe over. The second full song, third track, “Between The Keys” only helped to keep the magic alive. The piano riffs and the standing bass inside of the song was just really pushing me to look around as if someone else was able to hear the music, too. You know, to share the experience of hearing something that truly is masterful. It was just something really incredible and thought provoking. My only complaint was that, he didn’t switch up the drums. If he would have thrown something in like a drum pattern shift, or even slow down his drums and add distortion to it, it would have been insane.

On the track “TIME (a. Not Just Madness b. Clarity c. Anaethetised)” PSY/OPS flips a soundbite of one of the best movies of 2007: Michael Clayton. The scene where the character Arthur Edens(played by Tom Wilkinson) is talking to Michael about his coming to clarity whilst he was submerged inside of his insanity due to him not taking his medication. I felt that the speech given by the character was not only a giant WTF, but also holding some sort of truth to it all. It was really dynamic. So, for PSY/OPS to add that in there was a giant kudos, from me. But, not only did he do that, but the music creates and constructs around that soundbite and others featured in the song is like if Tyler Bates would forge a production duo with James Lavelle(during the first leg of the act U.N.K.L.E.). It’s cinematic, it’s moving, and it’s heart pumping. It gives you the feeling that, for that particular moment of time, your life is a movie.

PSY/OPS has a good scope of sounds and soundbites. He masterfully adds in pieces of various movies and television shows that adds to the moment of his music and not distract from it like a lot of producers end up doing haphazardly. On “Potent Spirits,” he throws his bid in from Early 90’s revival Hip-Hop. It’s fun, soulful, and intelligent. His samples are done eloquently. Placing the vibing era somewhere between a Good Times episode and an Gangstarr concert. On “Opposing Drives,” he brings the type of bass attack that would make Dirty South car enthusiasts climax on themselves when they play this song in their stereo. It isn’t a speedy adrenaline pumping sensation, but rather a “2 miles an hour” type of moment.

With “V-SIS”, PSY/OPS uses simple mid-90’s East Coast drums with a standing bass. The pattern of the standing bass’s riff is one very similar to an Oriental style of music. Due to that, it gives off a feeling that you’re listening to a “Ghetto Ninja” theme song. The drums, as stated, aren’t complicated, nor are they abrasive. They add the right touch with their simplicity. His use of electronic melodies and sounds for the song only heightens the mood, from the eerie ambience at the beginning to the wall of noise in the middle ending with the playful crystal chimes mixed up with a the child hissing and breathing out in a rhythmic fashion. The man is good at what he does.

All in all, I was very impressed with the music from beginning to end. There were a few pieces here and there that I wished he would either punch a little harder, or throw in a more blatant surprise. But, aside from that, the album is very solid. It’s a shame that he isn’t signed and doesn’t have a strong following behind him. He deserves it. I’m not sure of his race, but music isn’t racial. Music is a universal thing, regardless of where it originates. Still, I know people will feel the need to pick at it because it’s Urban Music(When the hell did Black music become known as Urban?). But, for me, it doesn’t matter. As I stated, this is in my elite Hip-Hop category for the first decade of the 2000’s right along with Danger Mouse’s Grey Album production and Buttafly Plague’s Instru-Mental Bliss, Vol. 1. As they say, good things come in a package of 3’s. So, this rounds out that Tri-Force, for me. It’s witty, playful, smart, and good music. I’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy DJ Shadow, U.N.K.L.E., Hi-Tek, or even Tricky not to enjoy this offering. If you don’t enjoy it, you’re not connecting to things properly. Plus, the man offers it for free.



2 Responses to “PSY/OPSogist Helps Open Hip-Hop’s 3rd Eye”

  1. Thanks for the review! That was awesome. One thing though, I didn’t put the “Fucking Ill” tag on the music. Treebeats did the first posting of the album and I just used his download of it after that. Thanks again. I’ll keep you posted when I have some new stuff if you want.


  2. Scotio said

    Totally, dude. I’d love to hear you progress and develop more.

    Glad to have been given the music to review.

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