KJ Peephole/Beach EP

KJ Peephole/Beach EP
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To say Canada's long, dark, damp winter months can make folks a little stir crazy would be understating things; even the most patriotic of us pronounce, in one fleeting second of frustration every year, that this winter will be our last. For Toronto-based rapper/producer KJ, this past winter sparked an inner panging for beach life — or at least escape — and he offers interpretations of that desire in his five-track Peephole/Beach EP.

The skittering percussion and fly-by sonic loop of the record's title track convey an anxiousness immediately offset by the sense of inescapable resignation felt in the slow-drifting, hypnotic "Sand Beach" before the splattering electronic bass and frenetic, monotone beeps of "Survival Skank" quickly redirect the malaise. KJ's calm, collected raps bounce in and out of this relatively brief session, accenting as much as leading through short verses and repeated refrains, which match the production style in which only a few poignant pieces are laid out and then juggled to create a pared-down yet corporeal vibe.

That combination works well in the small doses served here, with the record's five decidedly different sonic approaches revealing a notable range despite their characteristic simplicity. (Independent)