Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
All the way back in April, I spent time with a new single from Cypher the Avatar, ‘Kid Icarus Takes Flight,’ which I remarked was an admirably good effort that delved into some splendidly inviting sonic themes. I did also note, however, that I wanted to see Cypher delve into deeper, more experimental territory. Now, eight months later, he’s dropped a new EP: ‘NO MAS.’ The three track excursion is everything I wanted Cypher to become, and surprised me with some tunes that are even more left-field than that. Let’s get right into it.
‘NO MAS’ opens up with ‘Fuck Him, Her and You I’m A God,’ a track reminiscent of the Cypher I was introduced to earlier this year. He still ‘sings’ in a monotonous fashion, but his personality is palpable and absolutely infectious. His passion is equally as noticeable, and I love his “woah’s” over an exceptional soundscape of reverberated drum machines and electric guitars. The opening of the album may prove its most resilient moment for many. That said, the final two songs are powerful in their own regard.
‘demisexyouall’ starts off in rocky territory, painting itself like your typical, “I want to fuck you every night” hip-hop track. In actuality, though, Cypher’s musings are far deeper, and really delve into the intricacy of a failed relationship. The instrumentation is far different than its predecessor, likely because it was handled by a different producer. This contrast is refreshing, and ‘demisexyouall’ feels a bit more traditionalist, at least, in terms of the beats.
The final track is also produced by a different artist, meaning Cypher has three separate producers - one for each track. I really love this, because ‘My Euphoria is NO MAS’ is the perfect finale for the EP. It feels like a sonic portrait of the previous two endeavors, combining their compositional and lyrical elements into a more fleshed out experience. My one quip: timG, the producer of the final tune, did a much shottier job mastering his final track. The mix is too soft and nothing is highlighted or accentuated the way it should be.
‘No MAS’ is an unbelievable step up from the Cypher the Avatar I met in April. The artistic evolution is incredible, and I think it was a huge step in a much stronger direction. There are good things ahead for Cypher, and I think his creative decision to collaborate so often really contributes an additional layer to his sound.