Over the last 10 years Souleye aka “hip hop’s medicine man,” has released four full-length albums as a solo artist and has been featured on the recordings of Bassnectar, MIMosa, STS9, The Glitch Mob and Michael Franti. He has performed at Coachella, Ultra Music Festival, Burning Man, Shambhala, and has toured extensively in the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America. After releasing his full-length album “Iron Horse Running” in 2011, to rave reviews and critical acclaim, as well as touring the world playing sold-out arenas with Alanis Morissette, Souleye returned to the studio to work on new material.
Souleye has programmed a seam-busting agenda for 2015, with various EP’s and a full-length album produced by LA based Crush Effect, featuring Alanis Morissette, Chantel Kreviazuk, and Lynx. In the meantime Souleye has dropped a 3-track Ep entitled “Identified Time” produced by Stephan Jacobs.
Souleye is phenomenal as he lives and breathes hip hop without all the pompousness. You can tell that he poured his talent into this EP because each and every track is a little piece of art. I don’t mean that in a pretentious way. I mean to say that I can listen to each track on its own and feel something different.
I read somewhere that a reviewer said the “EP was far too short to easily command my full attention”. Wow, I’ve heard the opposite, like albums or mixtapes are far too long…but never far too short. In the modern digital music era, and with the advent of iTunes, we’re almost forced need to identify the potential of one 3-minute song at a time.
I’m an album connoisseur myself. I love nothing more than uncovering themes ,track by track after 45 minutes of intense listening. But the heyday of that indulgent luxury has long gone. Today we need to be focused, quick and to the point to capture anybody’s attention whatsoever and communicate what we need to. And that’s exactly what Souleye accomplishes on “Identified Time”.
Souleye is a poet, no doubt about it. Sometimes he is abstract, sometimes more factual, but either way his lyrics always strike a vital chord with the listener. The lyrical intentions of “Identified Time” is to “encompass and explore the contradictions of life, the way we perceive reality, relationships, rites of passage and the growing pains of our days with a touch of the surreal.” Now that may seem like a mighty big ambition for 3 little songs, but Souleye succeeds in at least drawing attention to these themes in just over 10 minutes. No humble feat indeed!
Not to mention the EDM-influenced beats on this EP. They make you want to turn up your speakers, close your eyes, and just let it absorb you. Everything is uniquely captivating; particularly the echoing vocals of the opening track “Ready Now”. The vocal effects on “Waiting For You” is just as impressive, as is the percussion, but it is the entire track that grabbed my attention. Souleye’s flow and technique on this song is simply amazing. He switches up and down effortlessly without missing a single beat. The best track on the Ep for me. The song, “Way Back”, is also built on a remarkable percussion track and Souleye’s incisive voice.
None of the tracks are weighted down with distorted or overwhelming beats, it’s just beautifully produced, pure sound. Furthermore the tracks have rich melodic and harmonic work incorporated into them – another rarity in hip hop. If you like anything that Souleye has put out, then you will love “Identified Time”. Hip hop needs more artists like this. Almost all the new music is just beats and noise with no lyrical content. Highly Recommended!