- Mixing robust UK rap with fantastical synth work and susceptible lyrics, FLOHIO bridges drill, dance music and ambient on this spectacular debut LP.
- Nigerian-born, South London-raised MC Funmi Ohio has been dazzling UK rap followers with a tantalisingly darkish mixture of experimental drill, various hip-hop and eerie, industrial bass music ever since her 2018 breakout singles “Wealth” (with Modeselektor) and “10 More Rounds.” Recognized for skirting the margins of the UK’s blossoming drill scene, her love of leftfield digital sounds and her refusal to align with an more and more commercialised, sample-driven mainstream drill sound has left her exterior the partitions of any particular scene. Her debut album Out Of Coronary heart‘ displays this nomad standing, because the London lyricist showcases an formidable rap sound guided by ambient, spacey synth innovation.
Out Of Coronary heart‘s opening monitor “SPF” underlines a shift in direction of brighter, poppier sounds, away from the darkish depth of Flohio’s breakout tracks. Constructed round a cool drum sequence peppered with snare fills that crackle and pop, the monitor’s sense of strident ahead movement captured within the hook, “Yeah, I am on the transfer.” “SPF” additionally introduces an album-wide motif that Ohio calls “arcade nostalgia,” which her response to the online game soundtracks she absorbed as a child. Guided by the manufacturing of commercial hip-hop innovators God Colony and Speech, the album takes inspiration from the dense, sci-fi-esque synth sounds that dominate these retro video games. By including US trap-tinged drum patterns as a substitute of the rawer drill beats Flohio previously labored with, Out Of Coronary heart foments a singular mix of hard-hitting percussion and melodic synth experimentation.
“Pace Of Gentle” perfects this components, mixing thumping sub-bass with hovering, reverberant synth melodies that might’ve been plucked from the soundtracks of late ’90s video games like Last Fantasy VII. By marrying these sounds, Flohio exhibits her dedication to stretching the everyday boundaries of UK rap. And it isn’t simply the album’s sturdy digital influences that spotlight this agenda.
Whereas the South London rapper’s flows preserve maintain of the fiery power that bought her observed, Ohio additionally embraces a way of vulnerability that is usually lacking within the UK rap scene. She delves brazenly into a spread of private points, together with her psychological well being struggles and experiences of grief. In opposition to the flickering hi-hats and keyboard jabs of the pensive “Grace,” she raps ,”My aunt simply died from most cancers / Do not ask me the place my smile is / I am nonetheless inside that furnace,” bars that expertly mix bluntness and poeticism within the face of battle. Lead single “Cuddy Buddy,” a grainy, pained reflection on being mentally drained by work, comprises an analogous stage of introspection in strains like, “Been one million instances I’ve bought my coronary heart caught in a rut.” Having swapped the vigorous drill swagger that dripped by breakout tracks like “10 Extra Rounds” for a extra off-kilter digital sound, Ohio finds extra room to open up, which makes Out Of Coronary heart an enormous leap past her 2020 mixtape No Panic No Ache.
Flohio’s knack for injecting punchy rap beats with experimental synth sounds helps her transfer past the everyday borders of UK rap. Her debut album’s manufacturing is pushed by retro synth creations that might make Tremendous Mario sing, however make no mistake—the ambition of Flohio’s futuristic model of electro space-rap backs up her standing as an undeniably forward-thinking artist. The album is guided by a willingness to experiment in its use of grainy synths and ambient electronica, and the “arcade nostalgia” idea is testomony to the South Londoner’s open-minded imaginative and prescient. Maybe most impressively, this foray past the confines of UK rap would not go away the album feeling muddled or stylistically confused—her out-there synth rap sound stays constant all through, for a cultured, elegant debut album that stands tall inside (and outdoors) the UK’s rap scene.
- 01. SPF
05. Cuddy Buddy
07. Yellow Diamond Interlude
08. 2 HOURS feat. Hawa
09. Pace Of Gentle
10. Late Set
11. Really feel Alive
12. In opposition to The Gran