killer kane’s Bandcamp Friday offering is a fresh take on the idea of duality.
“checks and balances” is the latest from New Jersey producer killer kane. This three song selection at first looks like a pocketful of musical loose change, but each of the micro-project’s five minutes brings a new twist. Conceptually kane “balances” the archetypes of the hero and the villain, exposing the shortcomings in such broad definitions. The cover art backs this; Batman and the Joker mirror one another against a neutral blue, both facing the same direction with drastically different ideals. kane’s talents shine as he pulls these ideas together across just three songs.
“checks and balances” is front-heavy, with most of the content coming in the form of “Extendo the Clip”. Lord Jah-Monte Ogbon, Lord Juco, and fellow Souless signee Sekwence join the fray in a potent examination of good and evil soundtracked by a raucous beat. The central sample is tempestuous, choppy and droning. Propelling the storm is a railway clatter of filtered drums; it’s all pretty overwhelming. All three emcees bring their best, and Sekwence is up first. His trademark growl is well suited to such a chaotic soundscape, and he spits some absolutely wondrous bars; “far removed from the junkies that I know but it’s all love still, just be aware that showing love will get you fucked still, I suffer from the drugs still” is auto-vivisection of the highest calibre, exposing internal hypocrisies with razor precision. Jah-Monte tells flickering stories of his “plug’s spot” and getting the “bag, no interference” before punctuating his verse with a delighted “go fuck yourself”. He meanders and deflects, with nervous tensions forming between the stresses he describes. Juco charges in with “False prophet shit look evil to me, blind leading the weak, read it and weep, gives the goats curry or feed it to sheep”. Unlike the other two rappers Lord Juco looks outwards, but the pressure he feels is very personal indeed.
The two beats that follow “Extendo” are, unsurprisingly, less intense. They give the listener room to breathe and process the prior verses. “Alfred vs Joker” samples the “Batman” show of the late 60’s. The two titular characters discuss crime, desperation and violence as a meditative beat asks listeners to consider the dualities the pair evoke. Final track “Checks” spins further and further away, continuing the pensive atmosphere all the way to an abrupt conclusion. kane’s not here to give all of the answers away.
– Jamie (@youngjade1216)