The story behind the sound.
Alternative Hip Hop.
For fans of Kanye West, Future, Yung Lean, & Skepta. Featuring Omar Musa, Sage, and more. ‘Ronin 2’ is the second installment of producer Mailer Daemon’s Alternative Hip Hop album series.
Established super-producer, DJ and MC: Mailer Daemon is heralded as Australia’s very own answer to Dr Dre, with his alternative Hip Hop, post-Trap, and Grime sound. These elements shine throughout the Ronin 2 album with undeniable relevance for 2015, bravely leading the cutting lights of dawning musical trends.
Where 2014’s ‘Ronin’ album predicted the organic instrumentation of Wu Tang’s ‘A Better Tomorrow’, Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’, and Dr Dre’s Compton; ‘Ronin 2’ drops in a time where the Post Trap vibes of Future & Drake, Yung Lean, and Skepta style production dominate, demonstrating Mailer’s foresight of Alternative Hip Hop trends, and ability to drop albums that are relevant to the trajectory of the culture.
Mailer Daemon and the Ronin 2 album deal with themes of cyber alienation, illustrated through 16-bit RPG Video Game Nerdcore references, voicing a social-media soaked digital generation that is genre-aware and information-overloaded. The Mailer message has always been one of digital individuality, evolving modern rap music into the post-punk isolated depths of Joy Division. Bluring the lines between Alternative, Hip Hop, and ADM- Mailer presents a forward-thinking and foretelling twist to current musical trends, showcasing it’s understanding of the culture while pushing it forward into pixelated breaking dawns.
Lyrically, a song like ‘All I Know’, (which features a guest verse from award-winning author Omar Musa) best illustrates the themes of of cyber-psychosis as he states: “For all we know / no finish line / for all I know / my blood and bone is crystalized”. This message is further informed with with futuristic grime tinged production.
The final song on the album, ‘Airwalks’ plays on the notion of 90’s nostalgia, with it’s drum-less yet harmonically sophisticated classically-inclined instrumentation. It provides a resolve to the digital, heavy bass-lined introspective cyber battle of the album, providing answers laced with an anime style emotional outro. The song gives hope and justification to the digi-alienation, surprising listeners with it’s cinematic ending to the journey.
The -=MD=- Sound
A signature element of the Mailer Daemon sound is that it evolves and mutates with the musical culture of the time, while suggesting where the trends will go next. Starting in the electro world, at a time where it was fusing with hip-house, then evolving into future dub and bass music while referencing rock elements such as shoegaze and post-punk. The Ronin 2 album paints the picture of the musical climate of 2015, and it draws heavily from the intoxicated and tuned top lines of Future, the post trap bravado of Yung Lean, with the production palette of UK Grime king Skepta.