Last year Castle debuted with Gasface, an enigmatic intro to the North Carolina MC/producer’s talent. It offered everything needed from a hip hop record; style, substance, beats, slick production and meaningful lyricism.
Castle is back with a ‘new’ LP, Return of the Gasface (The Has-Lo Passages), which sees his gruff delivery, frank observations cheeky sense of humour undergo a full-length redo from labelmate Has Lo. Such a fan was he of Gasface, that Has Lo re-envisioned an entirely new identity for it, getting Castle to re-record verses, adding his own verses and production style, to create something that sounds a lot different to your usual remix project. The first taste of Gasface re-imagined is ‘Live Action’, originally called ‘No Prep Time’, it indicated in no small way that the reworking is a more than worthwhile exercise. ‘Live Action’ is injected with a new spirit and it’s strength lies in the execution, particularly the two artists willingness work together in tandem for a common goal. Has Lo’s production is flawless, bouncy beats entrance you while the pauses and breaks are perfectly timed to compliment Castle’s delivery and flow. Realized at the most opportune moments, it reinforces what Castle’s got to say, sounding more authoritative and speaking with an authority that makes you pay attention.
Return of the Gasface (The Has-Lo Passages) is released on March 18th with original artwork by Josh Bayer. For now though, you can sample the delight that is ‘Live Action’.
“Man, you come right out of a comic book,” a voice says in the closing seconds of Castle‘s debut LP, Gasface, and it’s a pretty apt description. The North Carolina MC/producer keeps the back story to a minimum, allowing for a personality to develop through his music, leaving us with a mysterious and interesting enigma on our hands.
Castle brings frank observations, commentary and a cheeky sense of humour as his thoughtfully crafted clever rhymes, carefully carve through his hard hitting, dense beats. Through his eyes the world is dystopian, twisted, and dark; rapping about failed relationships, lost loved ones, toil and struggle, dead-end jobs and working minimum wage. The music is often more bright and bouncy than the lyrical content would suggest, combined with Castle’s cheeky and quick wit, it eases the deliver of his writing and message. Castle and his comic book-esque alter-ego excel on debut LP, Gasface; it’s got style, substance, slick production and real meaningful lyricism and continues to reward with every listen, unraveling with deeper layers of meaning.
You can check out some choice cuts from Gasface below or, if they are to you’re liking, you can buy/stream it here.
Right it’s time for round 2. It’s been a strange auld week with Easter, the long weekend, parades and gargling messing up my flow, so I didn’t really get around to posting some of the stuff I had hoped (next week I promise). This weeks playlist is a wee bit electro heavy with Free The Robots, Zombie Nation and Shout Out Out Out Out severely outnumbering Indie experimentalists Suckers and Soulful-Hip-Hop-ers Ozomatli. Maybe this blogging malarkey has cured me of my renowned predilection for NME type indie bands, or perhaps there all shite these days, who knows?