Sunday, February 12, 2006

Steve Gilmore Reviews: Shadowville Productions

Artist: Shadowville Productions
Title: Artist Overview

Meanwhile, down in the Soundclick forums, it's 'wake up and smell the coffee' time... :D

For those who frequent this place, they will be only too well aware of the amount of posts jabbering on about 'the charts' and the amount of supposed 'gaming' that goes on around here. It was from one of these posts that I first encountered Shadowville Productions. 'What is it with these geezers' was the general thrust of the post so I went for a look. Where most of my friends and people I know are worrying about getting over 100k plays, these guys (Shadowville Prods) are looking at almost [b]six million[/b] plays!! Yep, could have knocked me down with a feather when I saw that. It's certainly one of the highest stats I have ever seen on Soundclick and considering they have only been at this for a year, it's absolutely remarkable.

So remarkable that I wanted to check it out more...

Two things mitigate these guys being 'gamers' as it were. Firstly, take a look at the HUGE list of stations playing their material and - most telling of all - listen to some of their tracks. To be sure, being in the hip hop genre is going to help to raise your play figures but nothing like the amounts we are talking about. I took a listen (and download) of five tracks; Bow Down To Kingz, Fresh, Eve Part II, What Made Me and Move That Thang and after listening to them for a while I have to say that Shadowville Productions may very well be the real deal - certainly as far as the professionalism of their music is concerned even if they do just 'supply beats' Well, in my world, there's beats and beats, ya know...?

One track in particular, Eve Part II, absolutely blew me away from the very first note and showed just WHY this outfit are so popular. To be sure I've heard an awful lot of hip hop on (and off) Soundclick but nothing as slick (both in production and performance) as this - an absolutely [i]different[/i] slant on a much abused genre. The string work, and the exaggerated beats in particular were a joy to hear. Bow Down To Kingz is pretty much what you might have expected had you happened across this artist in the normal course of events, heavy beat laden hip hop, very dependent on synth lines, swooshes and claps but produced to within an inch of its life. Fresh is exactly what it says, a producers dream; a beat that slides all over the shop, orchestral samples that have been tweaked to death and a rhythm that just won't quit on ya. What Made Me is - again - pretty much yer standard hip hop track but what sets it apart (also again) is the producers knack of using exactly the right sound and beat structure to construct something that sure sounds like a lot of other things but is also so different in style and tone it's a revelation. It was the Parisian flavour of Move That Thang that finally convinced me that Shadowville were really the real deal and has since become a permanent fixture on my daily playlist. For my money, it's convincing enough proof that these guys REALLY are that popular.

Aye, beats for sale Jim lad, but not as we've know them. Very special indeed.

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