Dr Syntax and Tom Caruana have just unleashed their new album, “A Slice of Fried Gold”, mixing up funky beats, tall tales, spoken word dialogue and more, this is one UK hip hop album that doesn’t leave feeling depressed or moody. Dr Syntax’s distinct vocals always set him apart from the average uk mc, add to that his interesting choice of song topics (not getting the girl, being average in bed, living in the mess of an all male house and so on), it makes for a truly refreshing listen.
The album is tied together with snippets of dialogue taken from Edgar Wright films and tv shows, we’re talking Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Spaced, etc. Wright, who had personally recommended Tom Caruana’s Wu-Tang meets Jimi Hendrix mash-up album, gave the pair free rein over any samples they wished to use. This gives the album more of a concept feel, linking tracks and themes together, plus I always like hearing a nice bit of amusing dialogue.
Caruana’s production is always on point, mixing up funky sounds with that classic hip hop feel, without sounding dated or tired, and I like the fact some tracks here have more of an electronic sound to them, a good example being the club banger, “Another Classic”. Which kind of sounds like Lil Wayne, if he could rap and grew up in the dark depths of the British country side.
There are a number of guests on the album, all who enhance the feel and story of the album. High Focus’ Leaf Dog, and Kid Acnes hype man Clev Cleverley feature on “Countryside Alliance”, elsewhere you have Enlish and ex-Pippettes vocalist, Rebecca Stephens. Stephens appears on 3 tracks, giving them a broad appeal without sounding cheesy or trying to go all pop-hop or is that hip-pop? Anyway…
Dr Syntax and Tom Caruana have made an excellent album which has the potential to engage broader audience, not just the hip hop fans, without diluting their sound or content. Now get your arse over to Tea Sea Records and grab yourself a slice of that super nice fried gold!