Kano – Method To The Maadness | Album Review

The next generation of Grime spitters are privileged to have a handful of emcees whose blueprint to success has paid off in dividends. Dizzee Rascal’s mainstay at the peak of the charts and Tinchy Stryder’s status as a record selling artist have been heralded by both the wider audience and the underground communities – due to the financial gains they have received from their success.

Standing tall as many critics’ choice emcee however is Kano; East London born, akin to Tinchy and Dizzee, but has won praise for keeping his sound predominantly enriched in a murkier sound, even when exploring different directions. With a back catalogue labelled “Genius,” “Underrated” and “Pure” across his three albums to date, Method To The Maadness aims to further compound the positive responses of critics – ranging from the Fleet Street bigwigs to Grime Forum’s hardcore following.

Taking a firm leap into the genre-bending mix of Grime, Dub Step, Hip Hop and indie rock, Kano’s spitting credentials don’t get lost in translation amongst the whirlwind of excellent production credits. Lyrically diverse, a vicious array of flows have elevated K-A to his acclaimed status – and the artillery returns on his third album.

“2 Left: Topic of Discussion” is a solid opening where K-A’s syllable stretching flow sounds venomous over the multi-layered instrumental provided. Following on from this is the undisputed riot-inducing “Get Wild” featuring Wiley and Aidonia. Heavy bass makes the dancefloor beckon, unofficially crowning it the ‘go-to’ record for all DJs looking for a killer track from this album.

However it’s the cuts which move out of Kano ’s comfy 140 zone which shine the brightest on Method…  Teaming up with Hot Chip on “All + All Together” results in an infectious number which borders between an indie-disco smash and a cool two-step jam. Kano has clearly absorbed the influence of his recent hook up with the Gorillaz, as “Bassment” resembles material from their brilliant Plastic Beach record.

Whilst the rock-laden, sing-along chants of “Maad” may lack conviction, the reflective “Slave” executes its lead guitar riffs more convincingly. But regardless of all the eclectic sounds which are on offer, it’s when Kano returns to rip up authentic Grimy/Hip Hop beats that his prowess is truly on show.

The murky, sinister sounds of “Spaceship” mark one of the true highlights on the album, “Lady Killer” sees K-A go back and forth slickly with Ghetts whilst the pulsating horn blaring “Upside” is a well-crafted mix of bold rhymes and airy vocals from Michelle Breeze.

Madness may not entirely be the word to describe Kano’s fourth offering – yet genius may not be too far off. Enriched with a full flavour of sounds from all musical spectrums, plus verses which all (or mostly) tell a story with pleasing precision, Method To The Maadness depicts Kano as an artist who has grown into the musician which many newcomers (and current artists) can only aspire to – an emcee who crosses genres without losing the core value of his sound.

Whilst Home Sweet Home and [and, obviously, 140 Grime Street] may hold onto his Grime roots the tightest, Method To The Madness is the one of the few albums that successfully strikes that difficult balance between the eclectic maestro and the rugged rhymeslayer.

–Henry Yanney

Method To The Maadness drops in the UK on August 30th via Bigger Picture Music.
Pre-order: iTunes / Amazon / Play / HMV

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