Updated: Aug 20, 2020
Our newest global discovery has brought us to south London-based independent hip-hop artist Ultra_eko and the release of his new album titled “Off the Grid”. Ultra-eko gives us a taste of exact what we look for in music, progressive and experimental sounds and style.
The instrumental production of this project provides top notch quality and with beats that are very unique with evolving patterns and intriguing sounds utilized throughout. The album opens up with “Viral” and instantly provides listeners with entertainment on the instrumental front. The layers constantly change and with Ultra_eko giving relentless pressure vocally with punchy and clever bars from the get-go. Just this track alone would provide as a strong and solid single for an artist to release, yet we are spoiled with an eleven-track album with this continued excellence of records.
After “Viral” comes “WIFI Wifey”, which on our end comes out as a certified banger. With a bouncy bass line in the beat, it has a fun groove to it that Ultra_eko flows hard on, chopping bars at a rapid pace with precision. After “WIFI Wifey” you get a fun record in ”Yellow Redux” that is fun groovy track that has a strong summer anthem vibe to it. This record suites well as a track for a party or group gather of sorts.
Following up are “Boy Done Good” and “Sheep’s Clothin”, two more tracks that are hard hitting with creative beat production that Ultra_eko absolutely goes crazy on. The flow and lyricism he puts into a track can not be overstated.
There is a diverse skill set that Ultra_eko has has in his toolbelt as it seems like no matter the sound or style, he finds a pocket and can make a great song out if it. With the track “Pissing in the Wind”, you are given a smooth yet bouncy club sounding beat that Ultra_eko manages to hit the right gear on with a combination of going bar for bar then laying in some smooth singing in between that shows Ultra_eko can turn water to wine no matter the style of sound that he is provided.
The album ends on the right note with the record “Neon City” that provides just the right vibe to end the project on. With a smooth synth sitting in the background and a slow-moving vibe, Ultra_eko closes out strongly with a record that brings the tempo and energy down and provides a clean conclusion to the album. With such a diverse set of sounds and styles of production, combined with the elite level of cadence, lyrics, flow, and bars that Ultra_eko gives on every single record, this album is cohesive and put together in a professional level.
When asking Ultra_eko about the inspiriation and meaning behind the album, it was best described as follows:
"Technology is often an antagonist to the protagonists of these album tracks -- the cheating husband whose wife uses technology to expose his infidelities in "WIFI Wifey"; the employee in "Boy Done Good" who finds himself in a soulless job, typing numbers into a computer, the meaning of which he has no idea; the isolated dealer from ‘Alexandre Cazes’ who lives in the shadows through the dark net. The album focuses on the fact that people aren’t connecting properly – communication is misfiring.
I see 'Off the Grid' as a more accessible and popular work than my prior release, the ‘Kitchen Sink Dramas’ EP. The characters within 'Off the Grid' are no happier and, indeed, they are more isolated than ever. Looking over the whole album, there is not a single functioning relationship; as the narrator in ‘Eternal Sunshine’ says, "I feel so separate, as if there were a pane of glass between us. I write upon it, backwards, from right to left so you might read it right, but it seems the meaning of my words always getting lost" – that line sums up a lot of the relationships in this work."
It’s rare to see artists put together the total package of skills on an eleven track album like Ultra_eko has done and deserves the proper recognition for the body of work he has put together here. We give this album two thumbs up!
You can join Ultra_eko's emailing list and Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube via: https://linktr.ee/Ultraeko
To catch the project, you can stream it via all platforms, HERE.