Evil Needle (FR)
Some artists cannot and should not be squeezed into tiny restrictive categories. EVIL NEEDLE undoubtedly belongs to those. Originally known to spin records since the early years of our millennium, this fervent French German DJ rapidly mutated into a prolific beatmaker. Not only reminiscent of some of the gems Doctor L crafted at the pinnacle of his creative effort, EVIL NEEDLE’s savvy and finely chiselled productions are unique and pervaded with his many and multifaceted influences (Mr Lif, Pharcyde, Bicasso, Hieroglyphics, Wu Tang, etc.), just like his numerous collaborations and featurings (Mr.Carmack, Sivey, Troyboi, …). His muffled ambient downtempo is like a soft brush to your ears, and it does take a good amount of talent and technique to bring to life this type of atmosphere, the kind that wrap you and make you feel as laid-back as in a cosy bubble or an open-air chillout, lulled into reverie by the clear, cloudless starry dome. EVIL NEEDLE offers a flawless example of this expertise. Once inside his tracks, you feel good, you can breathe, your soul is moved as you happily drift away, at times along mainstream breezes, at times following underground flows; form here barely matters. His deep grooves unmistakably hit the spot, and so do his tunes and his lyrical synthesizer sections, his delicate beats and the strings that he gradually brings into full swing with perfect skill… But don’t get me wrong, the dreamlike softness this instinctive beatmaker might at first lure you into is but the visible side of his multi-layered personality: the man is versatile. Indeed the very essence of the melodic Hip Hop he produces takes root in his ability to break free from the codes imprinted deep inside him, sometimes even infusing this Hip Hop with ghostly shades, harsher rhythmical breaks, unexpected structural shifts, threatening electronic drills and basses. In short, EVIL NEEDLE sails against the stream, and this is all the more obvious and enjoyable when this 90’s Hip Hop fiend sidesteps from his know-how in terms of crystal-clear and luminous sounds to revert – as naturally as can be – to rougher productions spitted from his guts, thereby joyfully taking us back to the golden age of this trend and to what it lied at its core. In doing so EVIL NEEDLE knows exactly where to sting: half-way between antipodes.
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