Don’t sleep on this new self-titled album from Ockham’s Blazer. It was released on April 29th this year. Ockham’s Blazer is an experimental Jazz Rap band comprised of PremRock—who you may be familiar with through his work with ShrapKnel—as well as Fresh Kils, Anthony Rinaldi, Guido Spannocchi, and PRAQ!. I was only familiar with PremRock & Fresh Kils prior to listening to this record, so I wasn’t completely sure what to expect from it. However, I was pretty certain that I would enjoy it to some extent just based off of the Bandcamp description.
Since this isn’t really a full review I’ll just write about a handful of highlights. The first track I wanna talk about is called Prison of Gold.
This track sounds a lot more Electronic than I was expecting. I love the instrumental. The way it builds and switches up as the song progresses is crazy. The transition after the first 67 seconds of the song is awesome. I love how it gets more fast paced at that point. This album kinda reminds me of The Roots’ …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin in that the MC isn’t really at the forefront of each song. I mean, PremRock is rapping, and it’s really good, but there’s an equal amount of importance placed on the instrumentation. Not all of the attention is directed at PremRock, which I appreciate. It’s not just an MC rapping over jazzy beats. It sounds like real Jazz music. I think this track is dope as hell. Track 4 is called Dirtbell, and it’s definitely my favorite song on the album.
The instrumental is weird as hell, but I love it. It actually kinda reminds me of Genocide by Dr. Dre strangely enough. I think this song has some of the best rapping on the whole album too.
Your crew is Judas Iscariots with little variance
Dangling carrots like salvations from clerics
The second verse is performed by an artist named Dizraeli, with whom I was previously unfamiliar. I really enjoyed his verse though. He sounded great here.
Here's to the decreasingly small amounts of fucks I give
Karma now, I'm farther out, and further from the bug-eyed kid
I'm father to a monster made of mud and bricks
I'm father to a style, father to a child or two, a couple twins
I love the instrumental outro of this song too. The way the beat builds over the course of this track is awesome. This is another one of the best songs I’ve heard all year honestly. I think it’s dope af. Track 6 is called Carpe Cortado, and it’s just an instrumental. As soon as the percussion comes in I get the coveted involuntary head nod. I love the synths that come in about halfway through the song too. The electric guitar that comes in for the final quarter of the track sounds stellar as well. This is just a really goddamn good instrumental. I love it. I think it’s dope as hell. The last highlight I wanna talk about is the closing track, which is called Ill-Fitted Dress Shirt. I really love the relatively melancholic production. PremRock sounds fantastic over it too. I feel like in the past I haven’t realized just how good he is at rhyming on a technical level because I was too busy trying to decipher the meaning of his lyrics, but he rhymes super well.
You go for throats, but no exempt Rollercoaster like aerobic bends Memory labs, some properties not meant to be taxed Yet to the nameless artisans and happy mammals nonetheless We peeled back from the margins and the partnership is based on bartering
I definitely misquoted some of those lines, so take them with a grain of salt. Anyway, I really love this track. The production is gorgeous, and I think the rapping is fantastic. The song’s dope as hell.
This album is exceptional. I really hope we hear more from Ockham’s Blazer in the future because this project was a massive success in my opinion. This is one of the most exciting new groups I’ve listened to all year. The poetic lyricism along with the weird, avant-garde Jazz instrumentation is a perfect marriage. I was pretty intrigued when I read the Bandcamp description for this project, and it ended up being exactly what I hoped it’d be. I really don’t have any consistent gripes with this project. This is the most I’ve ever enjoyed a project from PremRock. This shit is great. Don’t sleep on it. It’s super dope.