Tymon Space – Tym On (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

It’s proof of how far hip-hop and all its generic offspring have come that Tym On’s debut album sounds, in many ways, to be the start of a whole new genre. Or perhaps the ground zero for the spawning of a whole collection of new genres… if genres indeed matter any more. There are plenty of moments on Tymon Space, not least on the opening salvo Lost and Found when he seems to be taking hip-hop’s original street-wise swagger and blending it with the drifting sonics of deep space. The result being a collection of tracks which feel as if they are being performed in the bar of a space port of a colony established by astronauts who set off from South Bronx a generation ago.

Guns is the perfect example of this, incendiary and in your face lyrics, confident and spacious beats and the whole thing cocooned in drifting, ambient electronica which sits somewhere between chill out vibes and galactic echoes and Top is an equally strange, glitchy, trippy assault on the senses.

There are times when he is happy to play things straighter, Kind Hearted offering a sound perhaps chiming more easily with most people’s current expectations but Tym On does his best work when he is colliding sonic worlds, when the sound of the streets is broadcast out to distant galaxies and he is forging his music from the beguiling return signals.

Why follow in others footsteps when you can explore far flung corners of the universe? Why aim for the moon when you can travel to the stars? And when you get there why not write the perfect sound track for such epic meetings of worlds?

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