The Scottish grime scene has been a long underrepresented segment of that subgenre. The most widely known artist to this day is Shogun, whose cadence and trademark lilt of his accent marked him out as a unique voice in a scene that had started to become uniform in its approach. With that breath of fresh air came a league of emboldened artists from the same northern nation, and the follow-up has been a joy to unpack. This latest release from SKOOP artist Tzusan takes his cinephile-meets-ambient approach and unloads it on anyone unsuspecting of the level of detail and adherence to a theme of which a grime artist is capable.
WSPSNSYRP is an album that is jazz, hip-hop, R&B, trip-hop, classical, world, ambient, noise, and a host of other influences and melodies. It’s a layered, fascinating record. Much like the imagery the album title channels, each track is thick, dense with exemplary wordplay, and awash with lyrical delivery that is at once restrained and bristling. Compared to the majority of grime, this is a positively subdued release that wouldn’t be out of place as a study or writing accompaniment. At the same time, passive listening would be missing out on the frankly impressive display of production and words.
At times the hyper selection and variety are approaching Aphex Twin-levels of density in its production. Focusing on the lyrics is just as rewarding, just as many blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments. Samples only add to the proceedings, not detract, notably the voicemail from a disgruntled lover, which manages to fall perfectly into the contradictory aesthetic of laidback vitriol.
Listening to WSPSNSYRP is akin to slicing open a Madvillain album, making a central theme come alive in both production and execution. It’s sinister, subdued, blissed-out, hopeful – these wouldn’t work in any other instance, but in the Edinburgh-based producer and rapper’s capable hands, it’s not only doable, but executed with aplomb.
WSPSNSYRP Track Listing:
1. Pink Moscato
2. 7:45 AM Toothache (Ft. CRPNTR)
3. Pear Grove
4. Mellification (Ft. Vitamin G, Wundrop, Papillon, King Grubb, Kemastry)
5. Wasps in Syrup // Squishee
6. Lady Imelda (Ft. TrueMendous + DJ ADS)
7. Scratchcard Suite No. 3
10. White Rabbits // Raincheck (ft. CRPNTR)
11. Lord Eton Wick’s Institute For The Acquisition Of Extraordinary Breakfast Goods
12. Strange Fictions
14. Dear Liza
Run Time: 44:51
Release Date: August 24, 2022
Record Label: Skoop