LawGiver The Kingson x Matthew Bento: Irie Single Review by Mr Topple for Pauzeradio.com
Irie, released via Imperishable Uprising, sees LawGiver team up with Bermuda-born, Cali-based Matthew Bento. The track is the creation of him, UK selector Lady Dee and producer Junior L Murray. LawGiver got involved after his cousin who lives in the UK sent him the riddim. Irie is taken off LawGiver’s upcoming new album, Creation – and it stands the release in good stead.
The track is a heavily orchestrated, rich, and intricate affair. There are some Reggae fundamentals present – like the persistent but almost out-of-earshot bubble rhythm on the keys. The bass is resonant, rich, and rounded – creating a booming sound as it works around a melody in its lower register. It’s on a drop-beat rhythmic pattern, skipping the third on every other bar. Then, the drums avoid a traditional one drop, instead focusing on a more complex, almost RnB arrangement – where the kicks hit the downbeats, the snare is on a syncopated riff, and hi-hats fill the spaces in between. A guitar also skanks casually in the background – and all this makes for a fulsome musical base.
Aside from all this, there’s a lovely electric keys line which runs around an incessant melody. It’s slightly dampened and has some pitch bending running across it to make it sound slightly off-key, which is an interesting and effective touch – giving some curiosity to proceedings. There are decent bridges and breaks where most of the orchestration strips away; the background vocals are attractive, swerving from straight harmonisation to call and response patterns, and there’s the briefest of horn lines that strut in and out occasionally.
Vocally, LawGiver and Bento are well-placed together. The former gives us his now-well known singjay: gruff, pointed, and well-enunciated, with some keen attention to detail on the rhythmic patterns and nice use of melody and pitch. Bento then contrasts this with a more soulful performance: he has a pleasing tenor voice which he uses well – working effortlessly around his range, with some decently executed riffs and runs, good use of dynamics, and a pleasing tone.
Lyrically, the track is also a clever ballad to cannabis – where LawGiver and Bento have taken the weed as the woman and imagined the lyrics accordingly. It’s smart and at times tongue-in-cheek and works well.
Overall, Irie is a pleasing, late-summer-feeling piece of work from all involved. It’s heavily detailed in terms of the instrumentation – to the point where it could have been pared back slightly, as the sound is, at times, intensely complicated. However, for a party scenario this isn’t such a problem; LawGiver and Bento present themselves well – and overall, Irie is fun, fresh, and fulfilling
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Lawgiver the Kingson & Matthew Bento – Irie Review by Mr Topple / Pauzeradio PR Services (6th September 2023).