Lancecape Always Fresh

For those in the know, Lancecape is a Toronto, ON hip-hop producer noted for his gritty soundscapes and affiliation with the city's storied Monolith crew. Always Fresh represents his first full-length project and it's an unqualified success. Unvarnished head-nodders like "KumitEH," featuring Nish Raawks and DJ Grouch, tap some of T.O.'s most seasoned MCs and DJs, recalling the stellar work he put in behind the boards in the past for J Dilla affiliates Frank n Dank's "What Up." But Lancecape is clearly not content with revisiting past successes and on several instrumentals he stretches out, wading into moody film score territory on "Judgment Day" and sprinkling the album with humorous archival sound clips that curiously muse on the subject of Canadian identity. The instrumentals allow Lancecape to impose himself on the proceedings and bolster his curating skills, ensuring that standout tracks like "Keep Pushing On," featuring J Shiltz and former Little Brother MC Rapper Pooh, and "Napalm," featuring the nimble Korry Deez (of Irs and Monolith fame), get the deserved attention the producer behind them also warrants. (Independent)