Album Review – ‘Diamond in the Rough’ by Brock Berrigan

Long time no post – cheers for sticking with us, and here’s to a great 2016

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Brock Berrigan seems to drop multiple instrumental beat-tapes every year (alongside the instrumentals he creates for up-and-coming rappers such as Jetpack Jones), and each one of them hits with some force. Diamond in the Rough is no different, a downtempo jazz and swing foray  into hip-hop.

You won’t find extremely triumphant bangers like ‘Three A.M.’ from his previous release Chapter 10, which I wrote about previously – you’ll instead find extremely smooth piano riffs which are enveloped by punctual percussion, sounds we’ve come to expect from Berrigan.

 

Yes, he doesn’t deviate from his signature sound, but you still get the video game sound-snippets, the stuttering mix, and the occasional left field bongo fill too – you can hear all of these and more on the track ‘Bacon, Egg, and Cheese’ which has a jazzy flute fluttering notes all over the place whilst being backed by strings which come to the fore towards the end of the song.

The opener, ‘Diamond in the Rough’, is also a personal favourite, the descending piano progression overlaid with TV programme samples and (what appears to be) Spanish vocals flowing in and out of the beat. The title-track definitely sets the tone; a sparsely populated and smoke-filled bar-like atmosphere which transports you straight to the 1950s/1960s.

 

‘Funk It’ doesn’t have a perfect fit when you look at the rest of the album holistically, though it does pair nicely with  ‘Ferris Wheel’, in that the former seems to be an almost souped-up version of the latter – ‘Ferris Wheel’ also has a fantastic change-up based around bossa-nova guitar and piano towards the end of the song, so don’t be deterred by the slightly left-field inclusion of these tracks.

Another solid release from Brock Berrigan, another slew of satisfying beats for aspiring rappers to spit over – stream the entire album here:

 

I took a look at Brock Berrigan’s Chapter 10 a while back – here’s what I said

This article was written by Mo Hafeez

 

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