Teacher Preacher & Kuntry Strong – The Return From Babylon
Teacher Preacher and Kuntry Strong deliver hard hitting hip hop with a darkness of tone on their latest release, The Return From Babylon.
The darkness comes in waves, first revealing itself on ‘Step Up’, but withdrawing on the tongue in cheek ‘Say Hello To My Little Friend’, with a parping brass section. On ‘I’m Great’, things get somewhat more hectic, with tight rhymes and flow, and a dark and heavy bell chime that adds depth to the track as it continues to build.
There’s a sense of fun on ‘Congratulations’, heavily treated with auto tune on the chorus which gives an accessible pop feel to the track, while ‘City Boy’ makes use of vintage sounding samples to create a real warmth.
‘Look At This World’ cheekily samples Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’, such a ubiquitous sound that in a way it dominates the track, despite its being pitch-shifted to absurdity. In fact, it’s in the samples that the real interest is to be found on the record. It’s a treasure trove of interesting selections, from full samples to smaller beats that have been taken and used to compile the record.
There’s some edgier material to be found on tracks like ‘4 Door Rider’, which sways and swaggers with its electronic underbelly, drawing again on the dark thread that runs throughout the album.