Typically dwelling on a cloud drifting above the petty concerns of the UK hip-hop scene, Leeds duo The NorthaZe’s new single, “Planes Taking Off”, doubles down on the transcendental before disappearing between raindrops. Too often, northern UK hip-hop is too heavily influenced by the terrible regional weather, so it’s nice to hear music unaffected by the climate. Rappers Swish and Kosi Tides have been steadily garnering underground rap acclaim with their dispassionate verses gliding over luscious, bass-heavy cloud rap instrumentals. They keep the momentum rolling on “Planes Taking Off”, claiming the style as their own before taking it onboard as hand luggage and dispersing it from the skies like a frozen shard of urine from a plane toilet.
The beat on “Planes Taking Off” uses ethereal synth notes and underpins them with seismic bass drops to really drive the point home. For Swish and Kosi it’s business as usual: make something meaningful from the mundane, perched atop a philosophical branch. The duo disperse thought-provoking couplets with disarming nonchalance and a calm assurance that suggests clear skies ahead.
“Flame in my throat like what I desire
Inhaling the mist when it’s outside
Into a foggy house of mirrors full of smoke
Figures forming, thinking it was ghosts”
There is an otherworldly element to The NorthaZe’s music, and it has carved them out a nice, cosy niche in the scene. They are able to capture a sound that fits with the lo-fi anime aesthetic but flesh it out into a fully developed character with believable motives. I choose to believe that this current run of singles, after the recent video for “RIP Limewire”, is leading inevitably to a follow-up album to 2018’s Pulp Diction 3, hit refresh on the official website continuously for updates.