Hashfinger – Lessons (review)
Since he released his first Instrumental EP’s as free drops on Sinoptic Music, Bradford based HashFinger has been constantly evolving. Those earlier EPs were released as monthly drops, sometimes remixes with a seasonal theme, but mostly HF’s own work: A mix of dusty drums, craftsman level scratching and cuts and sampled melodies. Since the untimely demise of Sinoptic HashFinger’s been working on longer form material. Last years “Coriolis Effect” was an exploration into the depths of space, whilst “The Dreams” – released around the same time – was a much darker journey.
It’s been a bit quiet on the HashFinger front since then, but now he’s back with “Lessons”; Twenty One tracks of classic HF goodness. The intro comes in with a baby Rhodes piano tinkle dropping into familiar thumping drums and scratches. “Dangerous Scent” is all laid back warm bass tones and keyboard loops which blends into the plucked harp layers and vocal stabs of “Afrique”. One of the nicest things about HashFingers releases is the organic way that one track flows into another. He often bridges between two songs with vocal samples taken from classic movies or documentaries. Lessons is again mixed in just the same way with “Afrique” seamlessly rolling into the Harps and Pianos of “Ten Thou”. More laid back jazzy vibes manifest with “Tense” supplying doo-wop style vocals and HF’s distinctive cuts and chops laid over the top. The chill continues through “Blue Picasso”, “White Clouds/Waiting” and the drifting dusty ramble of “Blue Mirage” with it’s beautiful Bollywood female vocals before the LP takes a darker turn.
“Chaple” is straight screwface Hip Hop, a heavy mix of thumping hard edged drums and pitched up vocal loops with percussive clacks. “Emperor Dust” is all down & dirty bass twang alongside a voice sample used in such a way that it sounds like another instrument. Whilst “Mercury” has a much fatter sounding undulating bass sound, again with eastern vocal influences and “Bounce” is dominated by a rasping horn section pitted against string stabs and more of HashFingers superb scratching.
Throughout “Lessons” HashFingers own personal style is indelible. The drums all the way through the album are instantly recognizable, as are the nods to both old and new movies and TV which are done with a wry humour so typical of Yorkshire and the North of the UK. Twenty One tracks may seem like a lot for an instrumental release, but by the time the spiralling beauty of “Earl” fades out on your speakers at the end of the Album you’re left wanting more.
You can cop “Lessons” for the ridiculously low price of four quid here:
A massively enjoyable journey into the mind of one of this countrys premiere Hip Hop craftsmen – 9/10