If you’re a long time reader of RapReviews you know I like to learn more about artists before I review their work. Brenky though is a bit of an enigma. I found an Instagram account — that’s pretty much it. I know he likes Akai MPC (but who in rap doesn’t) and making beats outdoors. He seems to be a bit shy as most of the time you only see his hands. For a producer that’s fine. Not every one of them has the outgoing personality of DJ Premier or T-Pain. If you’re known for making music for other people to shine on you don’t have to be the star yourself. If you do good work people will seek you out.

Brenky does good work on “Easy Focus.” The fact is rappers won’t be seeking him out though. He might think that’s a diss; hell, you might think that’s a diss too. Hear me out. Brenky is not a rap producer making bangers or boom bap or crunk or hyphy tracks. There’s absolutely nothing on this album that your prototypical aspiring rap star will want to flow to. If I stretch my imagination far enough I can picture the likes of Common or Black Thought doing a very mellow and introspective verse over a beat like “Rising Swell.” You’re not getting anything amped up from it though.

I like to throw out examples of other things to compare an artist to in my reviews, and the one that comes to mind this time is Mobb Deep’s “Quiet Storm.” Even though Havoc provided a low key instrumental compared to many of their classics, the bassline, percussion and BPM still gave it a strong heartbeat. Brenky doesn’t raise the pulse even on a song called “Tight.” The irony for me is that title immediately makes me think of Rah Digga, and Mr. Walt of the Beatminerz bangs the fuck out of that shit. No. Brenky is his own man. He’s chiller than a cucumber in an icebox inside a freezer inside a glacier. I can feel a slight TAP from the snare drum paired with the paino here but that’s as hard as he gets.

I have to credit at least some of what Brenky does on “Easy Focus” to the fact he hails from the Netherlands. He might enjoy rap music from North America, or even take inspiration from hip-hop culture in the United States, but his scene is different from both in a good way. He’s not chasing trends hoping to blow up like so many producers and rappers do here. Tracks like “Won’t Do” have more in common with vaporwave than most rap, and that’s a trend that most observers have already buried and left for dead. I still like the slow melodies and slowed down vocals but hey I’m a weird fuck.

In conclusion “Easy Focus” is an album I really enjoy and find hard to recommend. There’s a very specific anti-hard aesthetic to Brenky’s work. If you want rhyming platitudes set to beats with big attitude you’re not getting either of those things here. If you want some short slice of life instrumentals (nothing here is over 130 seconds) to sip a cup of tea to, Brenky is absolutely your man. I hope “sipping a cup of tea” rap instrumental albums becomes a thing. I’d even take a cucumber sandwich and some scones with clotted cream. That’s your vibe here. This is afternoon high tea music.

Brenky :: Easy Focus
8.5Overall Score