I was sitting in front of my computer for close to an hour trying to come up with an opening sentence that could match the wittiness and creativity of Paper Tiger and their new EP, Sonic Boom Head Zoom. After some heavy deliberation and time consuming head scratching, I realized that any chance I had at achieving my goal had vanished two cups of coffee ago and I should probably close the never ending game of hearts devouring all of my attention, so writing could commence. Thankfully, the band is unique enough to carry an entire story without much fluff necessary, which made my job a little bit easier.
Paper Tiger is a Leeds (Wolverhampton in their younger days) based production team and seven piece band. By fusing hip hop with dubstep, broken beat, glitch hop, and live jazz, they have managed to create some of the most beautiful, but danceable electronic music I’ve heard. Their sound is incredibly creative and cleaver—their Soundcloud is a hidden treasure trove of impressive hip hop inspired instrumentation that is unlike most production teams. They have already released a number of EP’s, with each receiving high praise from critics. Paper Tiger’s live band has toured with some electronic music heavyweights, including: Tokimonsta, Dam Funk, and Trojan SoundSystem.
Their latest release, Sonic Boom Head Zoom, is an eighteen minute excursion into the many styles of Paper Tiger. All of the songs were recorded during a live session, where the musicians and emcees in the band were jamming. It was originally going to be used to create interludes for Paper Tigers debut album, Laptop Suntan—due out October 28th. Instead, we are treated to a gorgeous array of songs that serves as a great place to begin your journey into the band’s discography.
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Sonic Boom Head Zoom plays like a fantastic ode to the music that inspired the group. There lush jazz arrangements that are interrupted by strange samples—some will be immediately recognizable to anyone who grew up in the Nineties. At three points in the recording, an emcee decides to pick up the mic and bless the track with their flow. The interplay between vocalist and live musicians is spell binding, especially when one rapper tells the backing band to slow down, which causes an entirely different melody and rhythm to appear. Around the fourteen minute the EP reaches its climax with samples flying all over the place, musicians playing as hard as possible, and an emcee helping to steady the ship with frequent adlibs.
Paper Tiger create a very interesting sonic experience for their listeners. No genre can adequately describe what you can expect when you turn on their music, hence my originally difficulty with writing this piece. However, this is a good thing, it means they are experimenting. Perhaps, rendering me speechless and clueless is a sign of their skill or expertise.
Sonic Boom Head Zoom
- Wah Wah 45s
- September 19, 2013