EP Review | Blockhead – Tiny Bubbles

This extended play was released on January 16th this year. Some of you may remember that at the beginning of 2019 I reviewed Blockhead’s Free Sweatpants album. I really enjoyed that project, but I unfortunately never got the chance to review his second album of 2019, Bubble Bath, which came out in November. That shit was fire though. I like it a lot more than Free Sweatpants. In fact, I actually think it’s one of the best instrumental albums of 2019. Again, I haven’t put together an official list yet, but it’s mainly just because I haven’t heard everything that I want to yet. Honestly, you might not get my “Best of 2019” lists until like June of this year, so sorry about that lol. Anyway, I guess this Tiny Bubbles project is kinda like an addendum to Bubble Bath. Well, he said that they’re just b-sides. I’m assuming that they’ll be on par with much of what actually made it onto the album though. Bubble Bath was already over an hour long, so if I had to guess I’d just say these tracks were taken off in order to prevent the album from running too long. Anyway, every song here is obviously self produced, along with additional live guitar and bass from Damian Paris.

1. Bubble Bath

This is the only song on Tiny Bubbles that originally appeared on the aforementioned Bubble Bath album. It was one of my favorite tracks on that project, and I still love it. It’s not just a simple loop repeating over and over. None of the beats on Bubble Bath were. The reason I loved it so much is that even though the instrumentals were long as hell—the shortest track on the album exceeds four minutes—the lengths were always justified because the beats were layered and dynamic. The first part of this song is driven by a nice piano melody with several other motifs coming in and out. There’s also a horn loop that’s very prominent at the beginning. The way it starts building up after about 2 and a half minutes is really awesome; this is the point at which the instrumental gets really amazing. There’s actually a sense of emotion in the beat too. It isn’t super angry or sad sounding; it sounds like perseverance in the form of music. It’s like the soundtrack to coping with an intense struggle. It eventually transitions into what sounds like something I’d hear at a spa, which makes the title very fitting. It’s kinda wild how many different emotions this instrumental evokes because it goes from sounding hopeful and determined to sounding sensual and erotic. Normally this kinda sound would be very boring to me, but Blockhead keeps it interesting with multiple different loops coming in and out, so you never know what’s coming next. I think it’s absolutely superb.

2. Waterbed Hev

This song is unbelievably smooth. When the percussion comes in after about 50 seconds…

O face

The beginning honestly feels more like a really good smooth Jazz song than a Hip Hop instrumental. The vocal samples fit in perfectly though. The main switch up in this song comes after about three minutes; it kinda sounds like the main loop at this point is a harmonica. The song goes from feeling like a fusion of New Age and Jazz to kind of a smooth, slightly Motown inspired Hip Hop beat. The piano keys that come in during the last minute are fantastic. The outro is really my favorite part of the whole song though. The vocal sample sounds glorious. I actually like this track more than the preceding one to be honest. It’s dope af.

3. Go Climb a Mountain or Something

This is actually my favorite track on the whole project. I legitimately think this beat is incredible. It’s melodic and heavy, and it just sounds very big. This would be the perfect beat for a grandiose outro with a top tier lyricist spitting super emotional, heart wrenching stuff. It’s one of the best instrumentals I’ve heard all year, and I genuinely think I like it more than anything that actually made it onto Bubble Bath. I have zero gripes with it. It’s absolutely dope af.

This EP is incredible. Since it’s only three tracks, there’s really no room for error, and thankfully Blockhead made none with this project. It’s the best release that I’ve heard in 2020 so far, and one of the best instrumental projects I’ve heard period. Since it’s so concise and to the point, I think it’s an easier listen than Bubble Bath overall. The beats are super detailed and layered. I really think people need to start recognizing Blockhead as one of the greats in the underground at this point because the dude is a beast. If I was a rapper I’d be scrambling to get a beat from him. This shit is absolute fire, and I feel like it’s gonna fly under the radar for a lot of people since it’s just two “B-sides” and a previously released song. It’s definitely worth your time though. Do not sleep on this shit. It’s dope af.

Favorite Song: Go Climb a Mountain or Something
Least Favorite Song: Bubble Bath


Grade: A+

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