Producer and emcee Baron Synback, and fellow rapper Reinforcer, make up the North London duo 'Combined Mentalz' and this is their debut EP out now on Receptor Records. The guys have been working together on music for the past eight years and are members of the same crew as Kashmere.
The EP begins with 'Track One' which instantly demonstrates ability in producing and rapping. The track is mixed by No-Sleep Nigel who has a long history in UK hip-hop and mixes the remaining five tracks. The end of the track, which has solid verses and a catchy chorus, closes on some vicious scratching.
'Combined Mentalz' has an addictive hook where the two guys share the delivery of a sentance. The track has some simple and hard beats with a gentle and chilled out loop of soft keys. The lyrics are generally boastful and of a battling nature. 'Dayschemin' starts off slow with some light scratches before a fairly reflective verse drops in. The song has a somewhat haunting flavour to it and offers listeners another angle to the artists.
'Pro-Producing' is one of the release's highlights because the subject matter and production seems to make sense together. 'Sacrifice' ends the enjoyable EP with an uplifting message and yet another well produced affair. The faint female vocals in the background up the atmosphere as does the well included violin.
Overall the EP is impressive, more so as it's a debut, and clearly indicates that more high quality material is within the duo's ability. It'd be interesting to hear a more party orientated song at a faster tempo which I'm sure isn't beyond their capabilities, although there's nothing wrong with the quite moody vibes that they present here. It's hard to put the finger on it but there's a slight suggestion of old-skool hip-hop throughout this, although none of it sounds dated or irrelevant to the UK scene's current trends.