Band of the Day

2014.12.30

Chill Bump

Nimbly experimental hip hop enriched by a fusion of English and French backgrounds
I'd hold my umbilical cord with both hands and flow to my cardiograms.
lyrics from Alpha

Since the group was founded in 2010, Chill Bump has proven to be a collaborative endeavor of an entirely new kind. The alliance between Miscellaneous (MC) and Bankal (Beatmaker) was both unique and powerful from the get-go; enriched by the fusion of their respective English and French speaking heritage. The duo first met in high school shortly after Miscellaneous moved to France from the UK, his native country, and by the time they reunited and started creating tracks together they had each grown solid artistic roots; Bankal made a name for himself as a DJ and beatmaker namely at the IDA and DMC championships, and Miscellaneous had already been a touring musician and songwriter for several years, and had trained extensively in performing arts. Their reunion was bound to be explosive. Chill Bump has created its own universe; a world of lofty, uncluttered and sometimes abrasive beats over which Miscellaneous verbalizes in his native English. As we track the group’s journey from EP to EP we hear and feel a pattern begin to emerge, the assemblage of countless passions and influences. It was their unique spirit that piqued Wax Tailor and C2C’s attention, allowing the duo to open venues for both artists respectively. Ego Trip, Chill Bump’s new album, carries the same creative distinctiveness, but instead of opting for their customary EP format, the group has chosen to release an 11-track album. Happily, the additional length of the format removes nothing of the unity that the duo has strived to maintain in each one of the records they have thus far released. Contrary to what most would likely expect from a hip-hop record entitled Ego Trip, i.e. a pretentious outpouring of verbiage, the meaning behind the name of Chill Bump’s debut album must be taken at face value – Miscellaneous specifies, “the title literally refers to a journey on which the ego embarks”. This is the guiding theme of the album: from light to darkness, the record carries us through a spectrum of human emotions. It starts out naive, navigates through fantasy, deception, contempt, and belligerence, before finally leading us out into the melodious hues of daybreak. The rapper ricochets from pure narration to social dissent, sometimes smooth, sometimes crisp, but always in symbiosis with the musical production. The versatile consonance of Chill Bump’s universe is structured by a solid rhythmic baseline and a care for detail, graciously braving etiquette with spunky gimmicks and a subtle choppiness. The art of sampling is deftly mastered as Chill Bump’s cultural repertoire carries us above and beyond the habitual interspersing of soul/funk influences so frequently utilized in this type of setting. From light to darkness, rich in texture, alternating between rigidity, finesse of structure, and nimbly experimental, held together by a catchy mix that highlights the quality of the composition, Ego Trip is undeniably the duo’s greatest statement piece; a record punctuated by nuance.