Vampire Ashes, the new EP from rapper Fang and producer Tevo, is one of 2019’s best short releases so far. Opener ‘Kaleidoscope’ establishes an intensity setting that is rarely deviated from, featuring a powerful opening salvo from Tevo that stick rigorously to contemporary ideas of trap music with its glittering marimba undercurrent. Fang is a perfect fit for this beat, delivering hook after bellowing hook with a thinly-veiled grimace: ‘You can’t see my pain through a kaleidoscope, I want all the smoke’.
‘Lane Switch’ begins with a distorted intro before launching into an autotune-aided number. Fang’s hook work is less impactful here, but the effortlessness with which he segues them into his verses is impressive. Fittingly, Tevo’s beat on this one sounds like a late night car ride through the city with Fang in the passenger seat denouncing ‘the lame shit’.
By contrast, ‘Rough Waters’ feature a dense, heavy production job that threatens to swallow the vocals entirely. Fang holds his own with a multitude of flows, and at the end of the song claims to be ‘changing every motherfucking thing’. Indeed, the duo’s work here is a significant step up from past work, in Fang’s case he’s never offered quite as much versatility, while in Tevo’s his beats have never sounded quite as right as they do here. As the pair wrap up the EP with ‘Blasted’ (which would honestly be a lot better without the meandering guest hook), the breadth of Fang’s abilities are fully displayed. His verse on this song is short, but it’s filled with all the hallmarks of top-tier trap music. Although Fang has undeniably improved as a rapper with this drop, it’s Tevo that deserves the most credit as he has sculpted four quality beats as pummelling as they are polished.
Listen to the EP in full right here.