Built on Principle – The Modesty Martyrs EP

Built on Principle begin their Modesty Martyrs EP with Duh. The track utilizes a groovy backing beat inspired by 1970s psych/guitar-led rock. The feature (Myka 9) on this initial track ensures that this is one of the most heady introductory efforts we’ve heard. Fans will need to play this cut a number of times before hearing every line and dynamic that issues forth.

There is a mid-1990s NYC sound to Smooth Unison (an effort which features Vast Aire) that will have listeners sailing away on a chill, electronic-tinged beat. There is just the smallest amount of mid-century modern jazz drums that are interspersed during the effort. We’re particularly in love with the vocal hand-off that occurs during just after the first minute. It’s this spontaneity that makes The Modesty Martyrs EP so strong. Fans will be always on their toes; the only constant here is that the resulting material is strong.

Devolution goes even further back into the crates with some impressive scratching (done here by Scratch Johnsonic). Hypatia’s Son’s opening is nothing less than amazing. The repeated sample immediately draws attention, while the rapid-fire flow that rises to prominence tattoos the track deep into the psyche of anyone listening in.

Run of the Rosicrucian is one of the most unlikely rap tracks we’ve heard. There is a big band / 1920-30s jazz sample that inserts a bit of the traditional / Great Gatsby-esque pomp onto the later registers of the release.

Without Water has a haunting backing beat which draws upon the tradition of Wu-Tang or The Gravediggaz. Blending this 1990s approach with a bit of early-oughts Rhymesayers acts, it’s no surprise that Built on Principle is able to end the release in a wholly unique fashion.

Top Tracks: Smooth Unison (featuring Vast Aire), 
Run of the Rosicrucian, Without Water (featuring Main Flow)

Rating: 9.2/10

Built on Principle – The Modesty Martyrs EP / 2018 Self Released / 8 Tracks / Bandcamp

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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