Maspyke Static

With this album, Springfield, Massachusetts crew Maspyke pick up right where they left off with their Blackout album from a couple of years back, impressively forging ahead with their own sound and approach. While their bass-heavy productions and spiritually infused rhymes mark them as disciples of early ’90s East coast hip-hop, Maspyke infuse a curious, unforgiving mystical ambience into their music that truly marks them in their own territory. On Static, DJ Roddy Rod continues to prove himself to be one of the most underrated producers around, with his penchant for applying found sound to undeniable head-nod material. Slightly offbeat chimes pervade the moody "Bells of Winchester Square” and the sound of what sounds like a bunch of bicycle chains being dropped ominously underscores "The Writer.” Perhaps most strikingly Roddy Rod digs up eerie, affecting horns on "Lightly Anxious,” as a fitting sonic backdrop for the tender courtship that lyrically unfolds over the track. MCs Tableek and H-Bomb feed off each other’s energy throughout. While they spread their own brand of knowledge throughout, they largely avoid didactics and take time out for witty wordplay on "Summa.” While a truly consistent effort throughout the highlight here is the incredible "Step,” a truly addictive bass romp that is worthy of mainstream recognition for this low profile, high quality crew. (Bukarance)