Fermented Spirit's "Demystification" sounds promising as the group claims to have been born with the purpose of constructing beats backed by Brazilian drum patterns. With this in mind, the album is a disappointment from the jump since the beats have no energy throughout this 10 track album. I wasn't expecting booty-shaking Carnivale music to dominate this underground rap release, but I was hoping for more swing and bounce than on your usual conscious rap release. Instead, Fermented Spirits gives us an album with laid back beats that focuses on the emcees.
Focusing on emcees isn't necessarily bad as some of the most memorable beats are those that allow the rapper to shine, but in this case this crew strikes out on both ends. Simplicity inspires the music here as we get bare bones snare/bass drums combined with sublime bass lines and short piano loops. It's not the worst approach to beat making I've heard, but one that falls short on originality and identity. The emceeing and singing is also on the wrong side of average on most songs. Soulbrotha is featured on the 90 second "Du Jour:"
"I speak of emancipation as if I was proclamating
A certain second coming, certain relationships a fumbling mind state
Blown with the whirlwind, in search of diamonds and pearls in
Confusing our morals, we get misoverstood
But we can't stand, we all in a search to find our souls man
Gotta be a deeper meaning than holes in the music, ya dig?
I figure we can tell the jig is up
As we look up to a sky bright filled with the rising light
I say a prayer to a maker I believe gave me sight
A sore pose to see from miles away, blind light
In hindsight, the rearview mirrors looking dim"
I can dig Soulbrotha's message and intellect and his flow is decent, if a little crowded, but he's as good as it gets on "Demystification." The main emcee of the group, MicheleQJ, drops semi-abstract lyrics similar to Soulbrotha, but his flow isn't as refined. The group does get props for mixing in spoken word and neo-soul vocals to give the album variety, but at ten short tracks the features also muddle the group's identity.
Overall, Fermented Spirits lays the foundation for a solid career but they still have a long way to go. For one, the music on this CD lacks energy, which is surprising given the musical influences of the group. The music is slow and prodding even on a song called "Yea Yea 2004." The only time the music picks up steam is on "The Beautiful Resolution," but the energetic beat is wasted on vocal samples and no rapping is featured. MicheleQJ does an OK job on the mic, but he needs more refinement on his flow. The group does have talent and potential, I just feel this release was a bit premature as the group could have used more time to polish their sound. So while this is not a recommended CD, if you're big on underground, witty raps with laid back beats you might want to keep these guys on your "watch" list. Better yet, just click on this link and judge for yourself, your opinion may differ from mine.
Music Vibes: 4 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 4 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 4 of 10
Originally posted: April 8, 2008