Introducing a conceptually provocative, uniquely expressive album from the UK’s own CHOZE – D.I.Y marks a bold and unforgettable leap outwards into greater creative plains of hip hop.
Following on from the success of the single Nothing To Lose, D.I.Y kicks into gear with an immediately cinematic soundscape and gritty, revealing vocal to match. Badderz leads with the backstory of the artist, a clear air of intention and depth, alongside a recognisably interesting way with sound design – a little yesteryear in its British garage vocal fragments and scattered rhythms. The perfect combination of elements to start off an album on a high.
Keeping the intensity level topically but musically throwing in more than a few unexpectedly versatile curveballs, DI.Y offers impressive threads throughout a notably eclectic playlist. Consider the sudden pace and weight of Wake Up, with a superb dynamic added from a featured Corpz; poetic integrity stands tall amidst another infectiously alternative beat.
Stylistically managing to emerge as both fearless and vulnerable, with equal parts theatre and truth, CHOZE leaves his audience gripped with this faultlessly meandering story-teller and anthem-seller of an album.
Built 4 Dis is an easy highlight of the former qualities, energising in its haunting riff repeat and the sheer rasp and power of the vocals. Drug Muzik follows with a certain nineties garage vibe once again, soulful briefly before explosively redirecting things.
Then we get the spoken-word captivation of the interlude, reminding us of the conceptual undertones, the poignancy at work. And this is followed by the title-track, an indie celebration – proudly declaring independence as a hard-working artist carving out a fresh route in the industry.
NTL is a highlight, electro-funk fragments intertwine with haunting rap synth notes and a powerful, relentless and compelling lyrical outpouring; which showcases CHOZE categorically at the top of his game. And in juxtaposition, I Apologise softens the blow somewhat with faith, bass, and intrigue.
Last 1’s Left also proves a beautifully encompassing track that reminds us of those indie undertones with a quickly addictive musicality. Then there’s the gripping storytelling of YOU, which brings things to a finish with a lingering air of inspiration.
Superb, in short – promising equal parts nostalgia and contemporary declarations, at an often breath-taking pace. D.I.Y feels like a voice of its time, detailing the rise of the indie artist. A considerately crafted album of purpose, power, and unwavering confidence. An easy must if you’re looking for something fresh – or indeed, looking to gear yourself up for the next big step as an independent.