keynote speakerz – the record [download]

Keynote Speakerz - Record coverTo celebrate the 5th anniversary of their 2007 Record album, the (so far) one-off project of Master Surreal and Skiggy Rapz as Keynote Speakerz will be available for download over the next two weeks! The cost? Name Your Price, also known as free.


Although the release is now 5 years old, it still is the most solid and versatile Hip Hop album in the English language that ever came out of The Netherlands. The production was totally done by both MC’s, who fluently go back and forth on every track. Only the cuts and a couple of additional vocals and instrumentalism was done by other artists, and even in that field they drafted mostly people from their then hometown Utrecht.


It’s a funny thing for me, looking at the extra credits. At the time of the release these were people you would run into at local parties, have a beer with, exchange jokes and discuss the local musical climate. Skip ahead a couple of years and Mseize is an all-round musical manager, Sjam is touring with Nobody Beats The Drum and Kyteman is conquering the world with his Orchestra. DJ DNS has his Shit still Bangin’, Avi dropped his solo album and King Jule is hot with the Ink Warriors.


So what makes this album so amazing? Probably because of the fact that it touches every aspect of Hip Hop without being either too underground or too mainstream. The lyrics vary from straight braggin’ & boasting to touching social topics in a real conscious but easy to understand way. The same goes for the production, the tracks range from hard simple bangers to extensive musical compositions and emotional vibes. On one track you’ll hear Skiggy and Surreal hitting the bars together on a basic dope loop, while you’ll be presented with played elements and a female vocalist on the other.


The featurings are up to par: not too many, not too little, and well placed. The production is, as mentioned before, varied and clean. Samples are the base but where needed played instruments and synths aren’t shunned. Sticking to an old-school setting, the scratches ‘n cuts are spread out nicely over the album. Everything is mixed down to a smooth gelled-out and balanced product, making the release feel as a proper album from start to end. Put all these aspects together and you’ve got yourself a genuine classic album.


“Record” by Keynote Speakerz will be available for Name Your Price until at least the 20th of September, when Skiggy & Surreal will get together once again for a performance at the Habek 5 Year Anniversary party @ Ekko (Utrecht / NL), presented by local sneaker & fashion store Lock & Load. So grab the album here to get your Keynote on (including 2 bonus tracks that aren’t on the original CD!) and connect on Facebook. While you’re at it you can grab the remix version of “Record” here, featuring a remix by yours truly and high profile names like Arts The Beatdoctor, DJ DNA, Toni Shift, Boemklatsch and Krampfhaft.