featured REVIEW


Debaser Crown Control Sandpeoplemusic • 2006

You may know the Sandpeople, one of those promising crews who contribute to the lively and oh so talented Portland scene. They formed only a few years ago and already released two albums. This time, two members of the gang, Ethic and Sapient, bundled forces as the group Debaser and serve up a mix of fresh, broad-minded hip-hop with a surprisingly vintage sound of keyboards, guitars, strings and constructive basslines.

On top of that, they managed to get underground vets such as Opio (Hieroglyphics), Luckyiam.PSC (Living Legends), Grayskull and Sleep of Oldominion on the album, and really, it will probably improve the sales, but had they not been on the album, it’d be nice as well. Because both producer Sapient and MC Ethic feel each other quite well and both the mc’s voice and the producer’s style are well in tune. Sapient addin a darker side to the beats, while Ethic spits venomous with a rigid, various flow that holds a certain anger but at the same time a lot of confidence.

Appealing are the different vibes that are enhanced. The title track 'Crown Control' sounds melancholic, 'Look What…' sounds very uplifting while the hypnotic bassline on the fantastic 'LongLive' (feat Illmaculate) has a certain heroic rawness 'These MC’s are pussy’s hiding under their girls’ skirts'. 'Less Human' has this dark edge and sounds almost medieval, atmospheric, and fairytale-like. More highlights are 'Rapper Advancement', 'Nothing But Silence' (with Grayskul), 'Dead Lines', 'Sugar And Spice' and the song with Luckyiam ('Trains Of Thought'). What we’re not really feeling is the heavy guitars on 'Stem' and the creamy, poppy 'Thomas', where Linkin Park comes peeping around the corner.

Nevertheless this project definitely has its own, distinctive sound and that’s pretty remarkable considered the fact that a lot of today’s acts sound very alike, even on the roaring underground. The lyrics are good, the production is great and show the craftsmanship of the Sandpeople crew.

POSTED ON 07|28|2006 by cpf

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