<a href="">Intro by Jonphonics</a>

Jon Phonics
Half Past Calm 2
Y.N.R. Productions

Once upon a time, the role of the producer was shrouded in secrecy. The faces and in some cases, the names were often kept anonymous. Only the few who really appreciated all facets of the song making process would read through the credits, see certain names and that alone would be enough to warrant a purchase. In recent years, producers have stepped from behind the curtains, become stars in their own right by and now the artist has almost become the secondary figure. Half Past Calm 2 is the second album from U.K. producer, Jon Phonics and this boom bap tour de force is further proof that he is one of the most promising beat smiths we have seen on this side of the pond for a long time.

The album features a balanced mix of established emcees and up and comers such as T-Bear, Micall Parknsun, Fliptrix and Kosyne to name a few and all of their contributions mesh beautifully. The album opens with the rough and ready “Raw Ingredients” by Jehst and Cyrus Malachi. On paper, this collaboration may have a few folks scratching their heads but all apprehension is put to rest once they get busy. These two formidable flame throwers prove that they at home in lyrical kitchen as they cook up some food for thought minus the additives and preservatives. The sound switches to funky and futuristic on the posse cut “Pump” featuring Fliptrix, Sonny Jim, Ramson Badbonez and Verb T. All four guests grill this beat gully style and debates will surely be heated as to who spat the hottest verse. The highlight of the album has to be “Mind Over Matter” featuring Verb T and Kashmere. Over a soul stirring soul sample and an elastic like bass line, both rhymers showcase a back and forth chemistry that would make Nas and A.Z. give the thumbs up.

However, as good as the rhymes are, the real star of the show is Jon Phonics himself. His beats are varied, lush, atmospheric but most of all they bang. Rest assured that your speakers will explode as and when the play button is pressed. Much in the tradition of classic compilations such as Soul Survivor by Pete Rock and the Soundbombing series by Rawkus Records, Jon Phonics has crafted a combustible yet cohesive effort that can be enjoyed throughout. For those who read credits in 2010, Jon Phonics is a name that you will continue to see more and more often. I cannot recommend this album enough. Half Past Calm 2 is an essential addition to your music library. - Reviewed by Christopher Mitchell


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