Rel!G!Ion Revelations 1

While a certain amount of cockiness is expected in the names of rap artists and producers, some monikers, like that of Ottawa native Rel!g!ion, make a sub-par product pretty much out of the question. Fortunately for the Van City-based producer, it doesn't take long for his debut compilation, Revelations 1, to show why a fierce cabal of sharp-tongued social commentators are quickly filling his pews. Rel!g!ion succeeds in the admirable feat of melding rhythms abrasive enough to keep pace with feisty word-warriors Ny Oil, Planet Asia and Jasiri X, while having a textural richness that belies a man with an expansive palate and knack for uniting contrasting sounds. From the abrasive backbone, dancing keys and stray drones of "Affirmation," through the stuttered, harmonious synths of "Call My Name" and on to the familiar underground groove of "We Ready," the rhythmic perfectionist plays each hand with notable consistency. Even when the words let him down, the clever beatsmith manages some sonic food for thought to tickle the brain. (Urbnet)