The kinship between hip-hop and electronic music makes too much sense. Each passing year seems to bring about new music styles as artists blend them together to create original and memorable material. Trip-hop accomplished this fusion of genres, but with rap and electronic rhythms being found in the mainstream, artists continue to push boundaries and blend genres so as not to be pigeonholed as a one-trick act.
It’s appropriate that High Drags – a brother and sister duo out of our homebase of Rochester, NY (that features the Marissa half of Dave & Marissa) – would put this kinship of genres into action as they blend hip-hop and electronica into their own brand of pop music. Formed in August 2011, their debut release, AOTKL, has everything you could need for a night on the town – club beats, pop melodies, vocal hooks, flowing rhymes, traditional hip-hop beats, and even some brass and afrobeat-style funk mixed in on a track or two.
After a hyped up intro, we are catapulted into the beats of “Young Kids” featuring Cing James. The trifecta of spoken word, singing, and rapping from James blend perfectly to instill an easy-going vibe. From there the energy gets taken up a notch with “New War Games.” The vocals, confident and contented, melt into the synths and drumbeats, creating a song that floats along at a steady, atmospheric pace.
The energy reaches a head with “Run Fast Enough,” an anthemic song that can help you paint the town red while on a night out with friends. Driven by rolling synths and a pounding kick drum, the song is storm cloud of energy, packed with catchy melodies and combusting with a chorus that will be tacked in your mind for a long time.
The blending of genres continues throughout the remainder of AOTKL. And the best part is that it also continues to be hard to pin down any repetition in style from High Drags. This is eclectic music, united only by the consistency of strength in the beats and vocals. Hard to believe that this is a debut release, on top of the fact that the act formed no less than four months ago. It’s exciting to think about where High Drags will move on to from here because saying this album “shows promise” is an understatement. They’re already beyond that point and they’re only eight tracks deep.
High Drags // Young Kids (feat. Cing James) [mp3] from AOTKL
High Drags // Run Fast Enough [mp3] from AOTKL