It took half a decade but it's finally here. Following up the critically acclaimed 'Biro Funk' comes 'Panorama', Braintax's highly anticipated return to the long player, and boy has the wait been worth it. As to be expected from a Lowlife Records product, the packaging is tight, the production is of the highest standard you'll find across the boards of UK hiphop, and the lyrical content is extremely sharp.
There's a strong variety of sounds ranging from typical Braintax produced hiphop goodness, to the international flavours of Louis Slippers and Beat Butcher. Guests come in the form of the crazily consistent Mystro, the chilled out every day man in Verb T and one of the most exciting up and coming UKers, Dubbledge.
On paper a gospel Braintax tune sounds a bit odd, but through the speakers 'All I Need' is feel good music to the core. The live instrumentation by the Raw Dog gang on 'Syriana Style' is laced with fresh and pacey verses by Brains and 'Monsoon Funk' is vintage Braintax in self profiling mode. 'Good Or Bad' is as to be expected, another fine collaboration between Braintax and Mystro, two rappers born to work together.
'Last Tenner' has a light hearted drinking theme whilst 'The Grip Again' is political hiphop to the bone, offering tons for the listener to think about on the current affairs and media coverage tip. The eastern vibes of 'Pick A Subject' produced by Ghost, provides a nice track for Brains and Verb T to flex their biro power over whilst 'Decade' is on a synthy retrospective flex. 'Back To The Riviera' has a really classic feel to it and 'Exit Plans' produced by Copperpot rounds up the journey as impressively as things are done on the previous thirteen numbers.
This LP couldn't have followed up 'Biro Funk' any better if it had tried. Whilst running with the same style of rapping and production, there's clearly been a lot of development in terms of a more mature and creative sound. There's tons of food for thought and everything's done in an intelligent and well planned but natural and authentic way. Braintax clearly has a lot on his mind, from opinions on the music industry to war, global warming, the British attitude and heaps more. There are many imitators of the Lowlife sound and they now have a new blueprint to worship. Out at the end of October, this is a no brainer purchase.