In an over 10 independent career, Australian based rapper ILUMINATIVE, has been featured on mainstream and online radio stations the world over. He has released 4 full length albums and 8 mixtapes thus far, and is now getting set to drop his latest album project, “Kundalini Rising”, on 09/09/2019. The album features beats by Hollywood Legend Productions and mixing by Adam Lewis Mixing, while the cover artwork was done by Frontlion Graphics. ILUMINATIVE’s words, combined with his spectacular flow and musical abilities are compelling, and I don’t use that word lightly. Honestly, the album surprised me and is much better than what I expected from Down Under. And I was expecting something great, because I’ve reviewed quite a few rap and hip-hop artists from Australia, during the past few years. But this was better than great!
The album, “Kundalini Rising”, is moving, relevant and brilliant in subtle ways. Even if rap is not your preferred genre. Even if it’s not even your second or third choice, don’t be put off. This is great all-round rocking musical art with mind-melting rap mixed in, and the rap is meaningful and understandable.
ILUMINATIVE uses real words and captivating stories that the listener can understand. So, if rap is not your thing, please don’t just pass this over, based on what you think it must be. Go find a track or two to listen to. You’ll be back for more.
The album opens with the title track “Kundalini Rising”, which instantly sets the tone and standard for this project. It ones with a shimmering cinematic beat that hits hard, driven by restless percussion, crunchy overdriven guitars and luscious strings.
On top, ILUMINATIVE flows relentlessly. I don’t want to go into intellectual hoopla about this album. Simply crank it up, listen to the lyrics and enjoy the sound. “Sacred Temple” sticks to the epic production style, with massive string motifs. But ILUMINATIVE doesn’t get lost in the sonic bombast, his lyrics and flow coming through loud and clear.
“Genius Code”, is one of my favorite tracks on the album, as ILUMINATIVE showcases his complex rhyme scheme in the verses, and his melodic twist in the hook. Underneath the guitars and synths drive hard. ILUMINATIVE has a gift for bringing you into his emotional journey on “The One”.
The lyrics are a huge part of this; but the skilled rapper and singer deserves major props for broadcasting these emotions straight into your ears and hearts. The underground has so much more to offer than what you hear on the mainstream radio daily. Case in point, this album.
ILUMINATIVE is an artist who is positive, thinks poetically, and sings in ways that don’t promote hate, violence, drugs, or any of the crap all these other “rappers” do. Listen to the uplifting vibe on the mid-tempo “Know Yourself”, and notice too, the smart use of horns in the production.
Another absolute standout is “Angels”, totally wrapped up in persuasive percussion and lusciously rich instrumentation. Certainly the production on this album is worth more than 5 stars. The blend of bombastic guitars, cinematic strings, warm keys and banging drums are mixed in ideal doses throughout this album.
“True Love” again shows off ILUMINATIVE’s melodic vein and his singing prowess. “Resistance” seems to come right off a movie soundtrack, with another huge production, while ILUMINATIVE verbally attacks the “system”. As we ride with groove through the final track, “New World”, it’s clear that this is seriously an excellent album, and that ILUMINATIVE needs to be much better known across the globe.
ILUMINATIVE is a true artist, capable of capturing raw emotion and energy and putting it in to music. The production on this album is also top notch, and if you enjoy good layered beats, exquisitely arranged and mixed, you will love this album just for that alone!
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