Having already made waves with their first two releases, Canadian hip hop group The Lytics are hearing up for a big 2016, culminating in their third album.
But first we get Hold On, an EP set for release in April. The Lytics wear their inspiration loud and proud, drawing from some of hip hop's greatest acts across this five-track release. The end result is a release that feels like a mix tape made by a friend covering their favourite joints... Only rather than tracks from a variety of artists, The Lytics have managed to put together a release where they sound like five different classic groups at once.
And so opener Friction sounds like classic J Dilla produced Pharcyde. Loose keys loop beneath a huge boom-bap drum loop whilst the emcees drop some raucous bars.
Title track Hold On's chunky bass and looped soul sample is pure early Slum Village, even name-checking their Fantastic joint Get Dis Money. It's a gloriously back-to-bass-ics track in contrast to modern hip-hop's paranoia.
Legendary and Tried So Hard plough similarly catholic territory - purist tracks for vintage hip hop heads.
Daydream stands out as a great moment on an already strong release. A female vocal provides a sense of mellow femininity amongst thundering snares, kick drums and hi hats. Calling to mind A Tribe Called Quest, it's like someone took the insanity of What's The Scenario? and updated in for 2016...
All in, Hold On is a confident demonstration of a group well able to draw down on some 30-years of classic hip-hop to transform it into their own thing. An impressively focused and confidently delivered release.
Hold On is released on 8 April. Check out to Legendary below: