Salloum – HollowDreamz
Kicking off with Al-Falaq, HollowDreamz starts off with an echo laden unaccompanied voice with wide middle eastern tones, giving the feel of a call to prayer, before shifting straight into ‘Late At Night’.
This first full track presents the rap vocal as up front and personal sounding, with a confident and unrelenting flow. It’s tight, fluid, and immediately captivating, with the swirling organ tones in the background that help to maintain a sense of momentum. ‘Seen It All’ starts out more delicate and glacial, with a lonely piano part and spirally tones that sound at points that the shattering of glassy sound itself, while ‘The Last Stand’ makes good use of glitchy, pitch shifted notes that create an eery feel. It puts the listener ever so slightly on edge, allowing for the hip hop vocal to act as a kind of trustworthy anchor as the music proceeds. ‘Dupree A’ uses a low pitch shifted vocal that sounds almost like the classic RoboCop’s ED-209, but this gives way for the main vocal to lay down its message, before the female vocal on the chorus enters into the picture, creating a wide range of sounds on one track. The pianos are vintage sounding, and create a warm feel that sits underneath the other tones that are knitted together. ‘Drug Deals’ admittedly feels a little like filler, and easy track to pass by, while ‘Dark Jam’ and ‘Through The Window’ pack in a huge amount in their relatively short run times and do so in a creative and varied way. That latter track manages to find room to feature a flute, while ‘This Is The Blues’ makes use of a huge sounding, squealing rock guitar. It’s on the closing track, ‘Rock With Me’, however, where classic Motown tones and well implemented, the shuffling percussion creating a warm loungey feel, with Salloum’s tight vocal unpacking the message loud and clear with that trademark flow. It’s a rich album, constantly creative, and a worthy listen of any fan of hip hop who wants something a little different.