DJ IQ - Flashing Lights

The incredibly talented and hard working London based DJ IQ of the newly formed Saving Grace movement returns once again with what has to be one of the best UK based mixtapes of the year. With nothing but UK based talent, Flashing Lights is a reflection of IQ's dedication to strengthen the UK scene.

The intro gives you a good idea as to the vibe you can expect from this eclectic and lo-fi vibe album. With simple chops building intro a subtle and soulful montage IQ introduces his skills perfectly.

IQ is joined by some of the UK's best known emcees, including his label-mate Asaviour, veteran Rhymers Ramson Badbonez, Kashmere and Jehst twinned with the new comers making big moves including Joker Starr, Pride and Saving Grace counterpart Gen.

This is an almost effortlessly crafted project, with tracks seamlessly following one another.

It's hard to define which tracks stand out, as take one out and the vibe would change. However, certain tracks stick in the mind a little more.

Hey Zeus and Kashmere present the moody and spacey Sometimes. Kashmere twists the classic 'Sometimes I Rhyme Slow'... with his as ever creative interpretation of Hip Hop.

The female representation comes in the form of Stac's Dub tinged Whoops! WIth Sonar swirls and loose drums accompanying the beautiful vocal tones of Stac. Definitely worth listening to the lyrics with this one, it's a love story told in a refreshingly different manner.

DJ IQ has incorporated some of his own production into Flashing Lights, and it has to be said that these tracks are some of the strongest offerings. Do It For Free with YNR lyrical master Micall Parknsun has a seriously strong synth bounce that combines upbeat with Wayne Lotek beats with Preemo style chops.

Gen is hailed by Asaviour as Saving Grace's secret weapon, and slowly but surely his style is being unleashed. The Dumb It Down Dub gives you an idea of the conscious emcee's intelligent and diverse lyrics. This straight spitter works as a nice bridge track to blend into IQ produced Psyconaut featuring Birmingham heavyweight and Eat Good vet Sonny Jim. Sonny comes strong with his confident style, Sonny reps hard, including a very nice reference to IQ (buy it to check it!)

Production comes from a seriously strong line up including Hudson Mohawke, Dabyre, Samiyam, Tiago, Floating Points and more.

The silky tones of Eva Lazarus are introduced on the incredibly smooth and jazzy vibe on the During Sound Check Dub, which, after a minute or so makes you feel like you've been beamed to a New York Underground Blues Club with Thelonius Monk accompanying a singer who has to be one of the most underrated vocalist in the UK right now.

If all this unique musical splattering wasn't enough there's a great mix of blends, effects and shouts throughout that keep Flashing Lights moving.

All in all, this is the kind of project that many DJ's wouldn't risk doing as all the artists featured are UK based (excluding Dutch based Kid Sublime) and without a doubt IQ pulls it off. This well crafted and perfectly executed mix is necessary in a UK that needs support, and who better to do it than one of the freshest DJ/Producers repping. Reviewed by VICE

Peep the Flashing Lights Album preview and if you love UK Hip Hop.... go cop Flashing Lights.... standard!


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