Serum is rapidly becoming one of our area's most prolific hip-hop personalities. I'm talking Tupac postmortem prolific. He can't seem to slow down or isn't at all interested in taking a breather. That might not bode well for his cardiovascular health, but shit, we'll be reaping the benefits like gangbuster.
Here we find the young MC continuing his explorations into the darker side of hip-hop's possibilities. I sense a spiritual connection with Kool Keith and the exciting atmosphere of the underground hip-hop of the late '90s. I'm also a big fan of his delivery, which, given the muted gruffness of his voice, comes through like jangled hiccups from beyond.
That might seem a little weird, but it fucking works.
Along for the ride on this nine-track digital slab is frequent boom-bap collaborator Manifesto as well as LMS, Vendetta Kingz's Oz Arc Raider, and Solo-Man Spectrum. On the production end, Serum has enlisted a veritable ad hoc army of local (Stereo Phyler, DJ Sharp Sound) and international (Canada's DJ Extremidiz, Portugal's Mir the Bloody, and Dutchman Stijn Beats) talents.
While there's a myriad voices at play, the EP is a succinct and conscious effort. Opener "The Peep Hole" sets up the paranoid environment from which Serum operates best. It's followed by some sweet tracks like "The Womb of Infertility" and the creep-driven "Dr. Moreau." Next is the short "Halloween 1980," which completes a nice one-two punch of horror at the three-quarter mark.
The title track closes the EP and is a reserved wave of uneasy jazz and quasireligious votive accents that can also work as a bizarre song right smack in the middle of an alternative spaghetti western. Yup. In other words, don't sleep on this free download. Serum might just stop giving the stuff away one of these days.
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Serum - "Daydream of Nightmares"