Fake For Real

The English written companion of Fake For Real: reviews, interviews and articles about rap music
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TES - Take Home Tes

, 22:35 - Permalink

Nature doesn’t like empty spaces. The Year 2000 is finishing, Company Flow have barely announced their retirement as a group, and you already feel the urge to find somebody worthy of relaying the mythical New-Yorkers who brought about the new era of hip-hop. Hip-hop’s very own (hyper)specialists did not need much time to find the prodigal sibling. Supported by a terrifying (and terrific) contorted piano, a style broken down into movements, and a cranky voice, the track "Acts of Tragedy" (previously released on an eponymous single) allowed Tes to quickly establish himself as the new icon of underground (and complicated) hip-hop.

TES - Take Home Tes

VF Prods :: 2000 :: buy this record

As he knows exactly how to exploit a successful formula, our emcee (and producer)(and human beatbox) has used his single and its sweet artwork, added five new tracks to it and released his first EP : Take Home Tes. The first thing you notice is that if you granted too much trust to the ecstatic critics, very specialized but longing for references, you will be sorry. Tes is not a clone, nor is he a follower; he has his own voice, his own style, and his own sound, to which you will have to get used to.

To begin with his voice, he entered the world of hip-hop by the "Human Beatbox" door, and young Tes learnt very well how to use his vocal chords properly, and to push them to extremes. He is theatrical, possessed, and articulates, utters every single word with his sharp timbre, sometimes nearly falling apart, to adopt a scathing tone, disturbed and disturbing. And the lyrics are next, Tes obviously enjoys a lot using unusual words (look I used the word "solipsism" in my rhyme !) and convoluted stories (he sort of remakes the Book of Job on ‘dualism’)

As far as his beats are concered, Tes (and The Neurologists on two remixes) likes to mistreat them. The very first time you hear "Acts Of Tragedy" will surely convince you. The listener is transported throughout this track from a quite dreadful piano and its drum to a second movement, as speedy as it is pervading. This creates an incredible whole, heralding the rest of the album, even if the average ‘no Mic Freestyle’ and the wonderful beatboxed track "Mouth Of The River" stand a bit apart.

Tes wants, and obviously manages to impress people, and there is a downside to this : he forces himself, a bit too much sometimes. Take Home Tes only acknowledges that the most expressionist tracks are not always the most durable or the most transcendent. Yet this EP reveals an artists who can surpass himself : the best tracks of the EP are not those extracted from the single. While the ‘No Mic Freestyle’ is tiresome (unless you like rap and you completely understand Tes’ English) ‘Dualism’ and ‘Waveforms’ are as good as the original tracks, and the two versions of ‘Sound Investments’ are simply genius, dazzling, unreal and sublime. And dropping such an EP is well sufficient for Tes to win his promotion. He is definitely an artist on whom you should keep on eye (or two) in spite of the few imperfections and artifices of Take Home Tes.

Translated by Gnusball

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