By Bobby McCarty
The long awaited and perhaps inevitable full feature collaboration of two of the masters of UK rap caviar has finally been served. The public have finally gained access to Jam Baxter and Ed Scissor’s joint album ‘Laminated Cakes’ after years of rumours and echoes and we’ve already got these new sickly sweet sounds stuck in our heads. Think J Dilla’s ‘Donuts’ if it had travelled to the future and back, only to return glazed with a heavy layer of Old Testament doom and having passed its shelf life somewhere along the way.
This collab has delivered a mouth watering array of sugar coated metaphors wrapped around some of the tightest beats of the year, and both Scissor and Baxter have found a home for their respective styles in the crisp production from Ghosttown. This feels like a very promising alliance, both rappers have diligently carved out a niche for themselves and embedded themselves so deep in the subculture that they air on the side of inaccessible, but the quality of their music has only risen with each step further into their careers. This new project continues the trend for all three.
Listen to ‘Excellent Donut’ here:
After opening with an overwhelmingly satisfying synth arrangement which would be at home in the Bladerunner franchise, we are left in want with neither a beat nor lyric in sight until the second track. But what a track it is. There could be no better showcase of this delectable trifecta, not only are both enigmatic rappers in their element but the beat beneath them is one of the best and cleanest to emerge from the scene. Hats off to Ghosttown for that one.
From there the album seemingly strikes out at the mass produced, convenience-food nature of today’s music scene and maintains itself with plenty more in the tank after such a strong opening, with Baxter and Scissor taking the listener on a characteristically epic journey, just as expected. Even if the lyrics are hard to interpret, there are skits scattered like cherries on top of tracks which give a little more context to the daedalian rhymes and wordplay, suggesting a disdain for modern tastes and a desire for innovation.
With flavours which could have been lifted from either rappers previous solo albums folded into the mix, it really does feel as if Ghosttown has combined the perfect ingredients into a cake that would turn Paul Hollywood into a crackhead, and has then literally laminated it between impenetrable lyricism from these two excellent wordsmiths. A welcome instalment in a trend of quality releases from the heads over at High Focus.
Read our review of Ed Scissor and Lamplighter’s album ‘Tell Them it’s Winter’ Here.