Edgler Vess is an independent rap artist rom the Bay Area, Ca now residing In Portland, OR. He has just released his 10 track album “California Dream Music”. Vless could so very easily have gotten lost in the massive wave of rap artists that make their way into our ears every day.
But he rides a distinctive wave that washes into that electro-indie inflected hip-hop that’s either catchy and interesting or grating and boring, but never overlooked. Luckily he falls into the former category, and fortunately he is also blessed with a sharp wit and what seems like a flamboyant personality.
Translated, that simply means that Edgler Vess is unique in a sea of flourishing hip-hop artist, most of whom never make it past the first album. “California Dream Music”, on the other hand, is at times a rather breathtaking album filled with rough-around-the-edges alternative sounds hidden under sharp electronic beats and at times an organic intensity that make you think you are hearing something more than just hip-hop music – which you probably are.
Edgler Vess’ voice is what makes the album so unique, while the programming and studio expertise makes the beats more than just cookie cutter loops run through some Pro Tools plug-in. “California Dream Music” feels organic, not processed.
Right out of the gate, after the intro, “California Dream” comes roaring out of the speakers with it’s crunchy synths, all studio shine and spit-polished. The sound and lyrics are very original, in a world of carbon-copy, gimme-a-fast-hit songs. Vess is certainly the real thing: an artist actually creating art in a world that sometimes seems to have sold its artistic soul.
Vess moves around his craft like an accomplished artist does after a lifetime of working it. He seems to have already figured out his strengths and weaknesses. You can clearly pick up that he does not do what’s expected of him, and does what makes him happy.
It’s that very thing that keeps this album flowing from track to track, as he casually converses with whomever, between tracks, bringing a candid vibrancy to the proceedings, while linking one song to another.
The meticulously crafted “Wood Grain” is an immaculate balance of social comment and sheer technical talent. And things only get better as Vless continues to explore exciting lyrical directions on tracks such as “Mick Jenkins Theory”, “The Get Up” and “Little Miss Sunshine”.
I was particular entranced by the upbeat and bouncy “Dream Of The Nineties”, this being so infectious, you’ll just want to play it over and over again. There are so many spaces that “California Dream Music” fits that it’s crazy. I feel just as comfortable playing this record at an alternative indie spot as I would at a hip hop night.
For those familiar with the intellectual deftness possessed by Childish Gambino, it should be no surprise listening Edgler Vess’, who exudes a similar lyrical and emotional prowess to the obtuse multi-talented marvel.
And by the time you press play on the album’s thumping, closing track, “4PM in PDX”, you will have determined that this release is a creative success that will only profess Edgler Vess’ extraordinary vision and uniqueness.