Free mixtapes and EPs are usually unpolished and gritty. Slapped together on tight schedules and low budgets, they’re a way for rappers and producers to generate noise without much expense (and, sometimes, effort). The prevalence of mixtapes and EPs in hip-hop is probably due to a combination of several things, including the culture’s DIY aesthetic, the widespread availability of music production software and the lack of formal training and equipment necessary to spit a few rhymes (anyone can rap into a mic, playing even a basic melody on an instrument takes practice and, obviously, an instrument).
T.Shirt and Darvin Silva’s new EP, however, seems to defy that logic. Called The Tan Face Children EP, it sounds distinctly professional. It borders on experimental, with the electro drums, pulsating bass lines and off-kilter, almost broken beat sequencing that’s popular nowadays. A couple of songs feature indie melodies and hooks, and Shirt and Silva bolster the EP’s coolness and esoteric factors by sprinkling Walt Whitman quotes throughout (hence the title). The lyrics are generally good, especially on “24 Frames (Movie Night),” on which all three verses are composed entirely of movie titles – and it actually works. Even better, it’s extremely well mixed, and sounds like it was recorded in a studio rather than some dude’s basement. And for a free EP, you can’t ask for much more than that.
DOWNLOAD: T.Shirt & Darvin Silva – The Tan Face Children EP
01. Pioneers! O Pioneers!
02. (Written Somewhere In Miami)
03. Monday Massacre
04. 24 Frames (Movie Night)
07. Allure (Must Have Been Love)
08. Outro Music