Whole Lotta Love
Diversity is cool, man. Ain’t No Love, a fresh quartet of MCs, shimmering pipes and slick electro production has really put some of that in their debut EP.
A sound wall of bass music-inspired drum breaks, dubstep drops, pop vocal hooks and dynamic ciphering sets up this self-titled effort, spinning in at just over 20 minutes, is an exciting, interesting experiment of genres and artists coming together. I think it’s working.
MCs Roly “1990” Broere and Eli “Beanz” McBean teamed up on the record with singer Saidah Bowen (stage name, Saidah Conrad) and Montreal electro/dubstep artist, Liam Clarke, aka Love thy Brother. This half-Montreal-half-Toronto band has gotten some noticeable attention from their live shows, and recently opened for Redman in November.
This first release, with six tracks, is pretty bold for a group less than a year old. Wonderfully, it doesn’t lose its britches as it strives for the branch at the thinnest, most pliable top of the tree. “Shine” opens the EP with a kick – but, though an admittedly catchy single, it only starts the ride. As the drum fills ornament the dynamic orchestra and synths in the style of Kanye, post- Graduation era, the track change brings us to some of the real, good and dirty stuff.
“Step Hard RMX” kicks in and the oscillating bass-synths hit you much like inflation after the Big Bang: where the record started, we had pop convention, mixing with both familiar and totally new sounds – exploding with new forces of dub and step and grind; now the Universe has tasted freedom and it wants out. MCs 1990 and Beanz tag-team the verses, setting out the swag of the ANL crew in a forceful display of territorial marking. Saidah pinches in some vocal breaks, but she really takes off in the chorus. You hear it in the first swell; if voices had legs hers would step hard indeed.
The record keeps the excitement the entire way through. “Crash and Burn” really highlights a playfulness of Clarke’s productions – and the enjoyment the group has working together. I don’t know if it’s just me, but voices processed to sound like Cher in chipmunk form are like the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Check out Aint No Love soon, as they play locally pretty regularly. Their last show at Le Belmont in November was pretty bangin’ – and sold out.