Avant Savant by Ly Moula

I'm going to come right out and say it, I don't like new rap. My era of rap was the 90's and I have great appreciation for the pioneers, but this new generation of rappers doesn't do it for me. I have an issue with rappers trying to sound unique whilst mimicking the same shit I've been listening to for thirty years. An original tone in their voice and updated perspective just makes it sound tired. I guess it's not really all their fault. If you were to ask anyone under the age of twenty what music they listened to they'd most likely say all music. Bearing that in mind it's no wonder rap doesn't sound like the rap I love anymore. I would expect some originality to stem from this and this doesn't happen enough for my liking.

However, there is one rapper that's changed my opinion and gives me hope for the new generation and that is Ly MoulaI've been listening to him for some time now having long ago cut his teeth as one half of Indy rap duo Blazhé Misfits, Ly Moula is hardly a rookie. I even had the pleasure of meeting him on a recent trip to LA and as rap personas go this guy is as genuine, down to earth and likable as they come.

"I wanted the album to sound beautiful, sophisticated, delicate and, as I scribed in my notebook once "like you're living inside of a bell jar". Beats were gathered and I began creating that universe.
The shift from this iteration of the album to the much more aggressive, industrial, electronic version that exists in the albums final form was birthed from pain, frustration, disappointment and the time to reflect on that once I was in a position to change my circumstances."

Describing this as a debut solo album does this body of work an injustice and doesn't tell enough of the story. It's creation has spanned some six years and inevitably over that time there have been a few iterations. In addition there was reportedly some seventy plus tracks recorded (of which I've heard thirty demos) and three title changes, from Rosemary's Baby Daddy to Rhinestone Cinema before he decided on Avant Savant.

Deviating from stereotypical rap topics Avant Savant is full of prose about dealing with anxiety and depression, to moving from NY to LA and adopting a kitten. Ly Moula sites a diverse list of influences from artists such as Duck Down, NIN, and Young Thug, to serial killer documentaries and horror movies, to cultural references like leather jackets and punk rock kids in Tokyo. There's a full list that available in the liner notes
 and if you can't find a topic among those to relate to then I can't help you. 

His style is more conversational rather than that of a storyteller, and whilst his voice is distinctive he is far from gimmicky. What that means is you aren't likely to hear his tracks in the club anytime soon, and there won't be any dance routines made up. What you get with Avant Savant is a legitimate artist's work full of endeavor, sacrifice and integrity. My pick of the tracks is The House That Dripped Blood

Although the majority of this record is brand new material, written & recorded within the last 6 months it sounds less like a debut and more like an anthology which is by no means a bad thing. The album features appearances by familiar collaborators Georgie Lobstas and Pizza Boy, alongside ComPL3xX and Uncommon Nasa. These guys are all held in high esteem, fans of each other's work and it shows. I think what ultimately ensured this album saw the light of day is the production of Steel Tipped Dove, with Ly Moula going as far as saying it's the backbone of the entire record.

"When I stumbled upon the beats of Steel Tipped Dove, I knew I had found a producer whose sound perfectly scored the musical universe I was attempting to create."

The album is officially released as of today and you can get a copy via the Blahzé Misfits bandcamp page - http://blahzemisfits.bandcamp.com/album/avant-savant