Genre: hip hop, rap, trip hop, dark hip hop, underground hip hop
Bio: Shahmen is a two-man hip hop outfit from The Netherlands.
Favorite tracks: Dirt, Abacus, Mark
Least favorite tracks: Van Gogh’s Crows, 19811985 Pt. 1
Thoughts: Enter The Circle is Shahmen’s first EP that has a very dark tone to it, featuring lyrics concerning primarily drugs and like, human devolution or something (“I used to be an animal, now I’m just a man”). The lyricism is fucking fantastic. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s my favorite lyricism on a hip hop album ever, but. Yeah. I’m gonna say it. It’s the best. The rapping and overall trip-hop beats in the background really give the EP a dust-covered feeling. Listening to it feels like walking through a big city a century after the human race is wiped out, and all the buildings are dilapidated but remnants of humanity still remain. Sort of reminds me of Burial’s Untrue in that regard.
I don’t have very major complaints about this album. Unorthadox[sic] is featured on a few tracks, and his voice doesn’t really mesh with the instrumentals. The only place where the lyrics fail to amaze me is on Van Gogh’s Crows (“everything you want want you already got got”) All the tracks feel too short—hell, the entire album is just too short. 17 minutes isn’t enough for something this great.
Also not gonna lie: Dirt is just a 10/10 song. I think I have more plays on that track alone than every other track on the album combined.
Album art: The album art is grim like the atmosphere of the album, and the illustration is high-quality, but the raven and wolf don’t really make sense unless some careful listening is done (both animals are mentioned in the EP). Unless the two animals become Shahmen’s trademark, I could really be without them.
More information at: http://www.last.fm/music/Shahmen
RETOOL: Moved from 9 -> 8.5 on 10/10/2013. Although Dirt is an amazing track, the other tracks detract too much to give this album a 9.
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