New Album Review

New Releases of 2024 I’ve Been Keeping Tabs On

evilgiane’s #HEAVENSGATE VOL. 1

The cover of evilgiane's mixtape #HEAVENSGATE VOL.1

Evilgiane, member of the Surf Gang Collective, has been on my radar since about 2021, when I took note of his excellent collaborations with an underground rapper which resides in North Carolina, BBY GOYARD. In the years since then, he’s become kind of a juggernaut in the underground rap music scene, having collaborations with more mainstream artists like Earl Sweatshirt, PinkPantheress, Kendrick Lamar, and Baby Keem. This 2024 release keeps us acutely aware that despite the fame, he’s still got his ear tuned towards the new breakthrough artists of the scene, just like the years before.

The mixtape is full of choice collaborations with on-the-cusp artists like Nettspend, Harto Falión, Bear1Boss, Rx Papi, xaviersobased and Woesum, to name a few. The picks here prove he’s still primarily a voice for the lesser-known talent that can utilize his refined production skills to make memorable and revisitable tracks all throughout the tape, albeit with some misses here and there.

All in all, this mixtape is quite well made and definitely deserves a listen if you’re an underground rap aficionado. 7/10

karl koyomi and 999 Heartake Sabileye’s Daune Sounds

The cover of karl koyomi and 999 Heartake Sabileye's Daune Sounds

999 Heartake Sabileye’s production on this mixtape is absolutely fantastic, and their involvement in this project is what keyed me into listening to this. I learned of them while making my HexD set for part of a 3-hour HexD marathon with DMC Woodstock and chalcopyrite, but to hear they’ve taken to producing was a welcome surprise. The production here is absolutely fantastic, and you can tell by honing their craft on avant-garde genres like HexD and Mashup, they’ve got their finger on the pulse of what makes abstract hip-hop click.

The rapping from karl koyomi is nothing to scoff at either, yet I can’t help but feel it kind of takes a backseat to the interesting experimentation 999 Heartake Sabileye performs all throughout this EP. It’s a bit disappointing to me that a collaboration like this is limited only to 5 tracks, being a little under 15 minutes worth of music (a complaint they address at the end of the EP), but it ultimately means that this ep will not overstay its welcome by any stretch of the imagination.

I really recommend this EP to anyone who wants some abstract hip-hop that won’t be anything like that which you’re used to. 8/10

ericdoa’s DOA

The cover of ericdoa's album DOA

This album was probably the one i felt the most conflicted on. When I think ericdoa, I feel his brand over the last few years has been heavily hyperpop-tinged trap that straddles the line between guilty pleasure and genuine passion. However, this energy wasdrained from this new project, leaving a moreso corporate-friendly pop-rap project that will definitely get streams, but feels less confident, in a ways. It’s not as artistically authentic as his prior releases, and reeks of label involvement in my opinion, or that’s what i thought at first.

As the project goes on, I see glimpses of the production that ericdoa initially captivated me with in the years prior, but they are sparse and few and far between. I’m not entirely opposed to hyperpop artists switching genres, like as Jane Remover, Frost Children and glaive have done before, it’s just that I’ll be more likely to compare the differing projects with each other. If they don’t compare favorably, that’s just how it is, I guess.

I’m sorry to say that bar the few flashes of brilliance this record contains, most of it is painfully dull compared to his earlier work. 4/10

DJ Fives