The AlexPanda The Great EP is the debut release from A-Bridge, the project of rapper Alex Pandya. Consisting of five tracks, the release is the introduction of a young man who is still evolving as vocalist and artist but one who offers massive promise ahead with his imaginative sounds and ideas. Admittedly rap is not a genre we have a great understanding or knowledge of but do have a strong liking for tracks and artists who offer something different alongside their rapping skills. A-Bridge certainly does that, the music and sonic invention surrounding the more than decent delivery of Pandya, smartly crafted and at times immersive.
The release starts with the title track and within seconds the brewing ambience and dawning sound pulls a full focus. Wrapping itself around the ear with epic whispers and enveloping charms the music opens slightly to allow Pandya to announce himself, as the character, and begin his statement. Hindsight against the other tracks shows it is not his strongest delivery vocally but easily decent enough to ensure attention to his words, and as good additional vocal layers compliments him he gains strength as the track proceeds. The shadowed voice of someone who sounds like Frank Bruno talking through a road traffic cone is fun without distracting too much but it is the great cloud of teasing persuasive sounds which soaks the ear that is the inventive highlight of the opener.
The Manifesto steps up next to place its stance within a weave of caustic harmonies and shimmering raw elegance. Musically the track rubs on the senses nicely, leaving them alert and intrigued whilst Pandya unveils his declaration. If political party broadcasts were sound tracked by sounds like this there would be much more interest for sure. Like the first track, the song is brief and fades out leaving the impression of something impressive yet unfinished. This is for all extent and purposes a demo but as mentioned leaves massive promise driving thoughts by its end rather than actually feeling like the completed article, the length of songs and their drifting away as and when they do adding to that impression.
Am I Human follows and is a gentle mesmeric caress upon the senses, its expansive atmosphere taking thoughts and emotions through wide open spaces of nature driven ambience soaked with a chilled yet compulsive breath. The track is emotive, the vocals from a soul seemingly drifting with a peace which is solitary and intrusive. It is a magnetic piece featuring someone called Wye, who also featured on The Manifesto, his presence offering another strong and engaging element to enjoy.
The release is completed by firstly Demons and then Angels, both songs coating the ear with a similar engagement as from Am I Human, their persuasive charms tempered by shadows which blister the air and distort the balance of the melodic sways. It is a texture which sets the songs and A-Bridge apart from many others. There are slight suggestions in the sounds across the release of being influenced by the experimental innovators Shrikes, who Ajay Pandya the brother of Alex is with, but the EP finds its own pocket of invention to seize, leaving the more sonic twisting manipulations and imagination to others, for now.
AlexPanda The Great is an impressive release which surely will open the way for much more startling creativity ahead. Hopefully Alex Pandya will continue to push himself and the sounds he conjures to move even further away from the, coming from someone with limited knowledge of the genre, formula structures and vision a great many others feel the need to follow. It is in his hands.
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