Steg G (Steven Gilfoyle) is a Glasgow based hip-hop artist and DJ who works closely with Freestyle Master (Davie Mulhearn) another Glasgow based musician. Both of them came together to make the album I’ll be talking about today ‘Freedom Frequency’. I’ll also be Interviewing them both soon so keep an eye out for that, to find out a little more about the pair.
‘Iron Tears (feat. Empress & Liane Henry)’ totally wasn’t what I was expecting, it blended sound clips, vocals with a soothing backing track that all worked really well to keep me interested. The female vocalist had a very pronounced and yet inviting Scottish accent which I believe added to the track. If I had to pick a word for this song I’d say haunting, not something that hip hop music is often described as but I wouldn’t say this is straight hip hop or rap although I was really impressed with the rap sections which were tight, quick fire but also clear and concise which is something not every rapper manages.
‘Break The Silence’ opens on an upbeat almost fanfare style backing track that goes in contrast to the rap section, i think they play off each other really well and again I’m impressed by the skill of the male vocalist who spits hot rhymes incredibly well. I’m probably not using the terminology correctly but I do know I’m correct in saying this is an awesome song that again incorporates sound clips really well to add to the feel of the song.
‘The Balance of Power (feat. Respek BA)’ I like the strong choices they make, this strong especially uses sound clips and strong musical cues to generate this idea of civil unrest which is truly at the heart of rap music, much like punk music, except with less Mohawks. Okay joking aside, I really think these tracks are very clever and well put together, they’ve reminded me of the strength of rap and how powerful words can be when they’re fired and the unjust.
‘Song for the Unsung (feat. Becca Starr)’ opens with a jangling little intro that at least for me builds an unsettling feeling, but the song itself is very serious and has a brave message. So far I’ve been impressed by the breadth of topics they’ve covered, it’s rare to see a group that create good music and challenge social conventions and ideas about justice. The backing vocals for this song especially add something, it’s such a strong example of what music can do, it actually reminds me a bit of an american spoken word artist and Rapper George Watsky who equally talks about culture and counterculture through his music.
‘Scrabbled’ opens with a sweet electronic intro that wouldn’t be out of place in a video game, but it serves to build speed and tension, and we go straight into a rap section that carries us through the track really well. I love the hook for this song and had it stuck in my head for days, it just flows really well and really gets stuck in your head, but it’s always good when you can’t shake a song, shows it did its job.
‘Mixed Messages (feat. Becca Starr)’ has a really powerful opening featuring some long drawn out piano chords that serve to build intensity right off the bat, it resonates throughout the entire track, this also changes up the style present in the previous track but its just as good, if not better. Something about this track is just really powerful, possibly its the different combination of music and vocals but it just sounds a little different and works really well.
‘What Would You Say? (feat. Shay D)’ I liked the hook and the rhythm of this track as well, I’d love to see this one done live, I feel like it’s one of those ‘raise the roof’ type tracks and I’d like to be there for it. It’s also really well paced and incorporates additional musical backing at the perfect moments, nothing about this Track, or any on the album in fact seemed rushed or underproduced, its a perfect triumph of effort, passion and skill.
‘I Want to Know’ Again it changes things up a little, and that’s good, any musician or musicians worth their salt know when and where to shake things up, it keeps things interesting and Steg G and The Freestyle Master excel at this. I don’t listen to music like this often enough but I know good music when I hear it and I would recommend this album to anyone. This was also another track where I got the rhythm and words stuck in my head, but that’s only annoying to the people around me when I keep belting up the same bit from the chorus over and over again.
‘Tensions High, Moods Low (feat. Mog)’ uses synth really well, and it opens on this jangling and really melodic intro, that again uses additional backing music at just the right moment for the best impact. I think in terms of easy listening, for something that most people would enjoy I’d recommend this track.
‘Self Hatred’ turned out to be one of my favourites on the album, its fast paced and filled with energy and passion and fire and you just kinda get caught up in it, it’s one of those tracks that’s good for getting you pumped up, and not because its all rise like some songs but because it balances how it goes up with nice drops and melodic sections, its a well mixed track that I really enjoyed listening to and is definitely going on a playlist sometime soon.
‘The 99 Percent (feat. Madhat McGore & Shifty Presidents)’ has a nice blaring build backed up with some nice midi sounds, coming off the last track I was a bit worried that because I liked it so much I’d be a little critical to this one in comparison but it holds its own quite well and again challenges some serious issues and does so with rhythm and style.
‘This Is Not a Weed Song’ is funny and shows that they can balance more serious subjects with having some fun. It’s another track that really flows well and gets stuck in your head. I enjoyed this song and I was impressed with how easily they put together this narrative.
‘When the Darkness Comes (Sophy)’ After a more lighthearted song I wasn’t sure what to expect especially with a name like ‘When the Darkness Comes’ but its not what you expect, its a love song, and is a well timed, well rhymed tribute to Sophy. I feel that anyone who says rap is just about being angry, should listen to this song because it’s the perfect example of using the music style to share something sweet.
‘State of Mind (feat. Guests of Nature)’ This blends the socially conscious nature of the earlier tracks with some of the lightness of the past two tracks. I like it, and it really does show that Steg G and The Freestyle Master can shine regardless of how they choose to express themselves.
‘Barra Land’ one of my favourites, because it something I recognise, you always enjoy something you’ve seen and experienced and this is a clever rendition and really ties the rap style with the sheer Scottishness of the Barras.
‘Echoes (feat. Juice Aleem)’ is a fine closing track to a smashing album, check it out and you won’t regret it, ‘Echoes’ is a strong track that allows the main vocalist the chance to go up against another really strong and pronounced voice.
So that’s what I thought about Steg G and The Freestyle Master’s Album ‘Freedom Frequency’ and if you want to get a copy for yourself then check it out on bandcamp and you can keep up to date by following both of them on Social Media which I’ll link you to here, Freestyle Master (Facebook and Twitter) and Steg G (Facebook and Twitter).
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org