Homeboy Sandman & Edan – Humble Pi (Stones Throw Records)

Homeboy Sandman is no stranger to individually produced EP’s. Having previously released works with names such as Paul White and EL RNTC he has crafted lyrically dexterous passages over the chosen producers recordings. On Humble Pi opener ‘Grim Seasons’ it’s business as usual, Homeboy Sandman on vocals, Edan producing. What sets this producer/MC pairing apart is Edan is also an accomplished writer. Just as capable of turning his hand ably to rapping as he is behind the beats.

Coming in under 23 minutes, this 7 track EP gives a concise but varied snapshot into the minds of these two abstract musicians. This is not trad. rap. Obscure tonalities and subject matter are scattered throughout covering everything from shunning modern online engagement (‘#NeverUseTheInternetAgain’) to 1st person storytelling of early man (‘Evolution of (Sand)Man’), all with a psychedelic backdrop comprising of wailing guitar loops, chopped, chaotic cymbals, faded synths and rolling bass lines. Here, Homeboy Sandman has managed to coax music from the historically sporadic Edan. If this EP is all we as consumers receive from this duo (Aside from the Edan produced ‘Talking (Bleep)’ on Sandman’s Kindness for Weakness album) then rest assured we have been left with some jewels.

From the get go, ‘Grim Seasons’ takes the listener on a journey through four movements each representing seasons of the year. The versatility of each partner here is fully utilised. Each segment feels organic and perfectly suited to the period, Sand changing his flow and delivery to match the ever-evolving beat, transitioning freely through the year before returning where we began, the cyclic nature of time highlighted.

The collaboration between Edan and Sandman is perhaps best witnessed on the spacey ‘Rock & Roll Indian Dance’ , each MC going back and forth with one another over a hypnotic bass line and pulsating, high-pitched guitar. This feels like a project both have invested time in, interweaving lyrics exploring each other’s thoughts as much as their own.

To the end of this collection of songs, the internet gets the full brunt of Homeboy Sandman’s ferocity on ‘#NeverUseTheInternetAgain’, targeting social media, maps, online dating and, ironically, online journalism. “Internet journalism is what you’re going to find/ Everyone who can’t get paid for it, does it online”. In this age of technology Sand simply wants people to detach themselves from their online persona and embrace living in the real world. And that’s something I think we should all embrace from time to time. So don’t listen to me, download Humble Pi yourself, go outside and enjoy this EP, because we all have a finite number of seasons.

Album Rating: Favourable.

Poor: 0-2 Stars / Favourable: 2-4 Stars / Highly Recommended: 4-5 Stars

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