Doc STRANGE - Espionage! - Stereo Stickman

Doc STRANGE Espionage!


Wow, the bass and hit of the beat – An Intro to Intrigue explodes into view, lighting up the road ahead for the brand new audio experience from Doc STRANGE. Espionage! is his latest album, a brilliantly crisp and chaotic alternative project that showcases a whole new side to the already creatively free and consistently striking artist.

Words like ‘original’ and ‘unique’ cropped up back when AAA was our focus, and nothing has changed in that regard. Plenty has changed stylistically though, and conceptually. The industrial weight of the drum-lines and the creative musical aspects showcased throughout this new venture fill the room with a brilliant level of energy and drive. DESTRO sees this turn into something more lively and intentional.

STRANGE exercises his unpredictable lyricism and expressive, theatrical vocal style in a continuously engrossing manner. Fragments of ideas, dark and intriguing, alongside short lines and quick rhymes make this one you’ll undoubtedly need to hear more than once to really connect with it.

In between moments of intensity there are delicate musical intricacies throughout this playlist – dashes of guitar, flickers of jazz-piano, melodies and hooks that craft engaging, alternative pop ambiances. Credentials makes the most out of all of this, a few simple elements but each one unexpected and free-flowing – rhythmic but artistic, and always more in tune with the progression of the story-line than a simple industry standard.

Espionage! (the title track) is absolutely a highlight. Bringing through a hint of Outkast influence, not for the first time, the pace and vibrancy of the track, fused with a clever structure, Doc’s story-telling and compelling vocal delivery, makes for something incredibly uplifting and refreshing to experience.

The Opposite of Dreams follows on with a relentless, breathless vocal, alongside another tribal beat and plenty of space. The lyrics, the depth of the concept, and the performance are what drive – no flashy details or layers are needed, and to contrast with Doc’s intensity and wit you also get a gentle, soulful female vocal providing a melodic aspect that helps keep things moving. A fascinating song that again begs for you to spend more than a single session with it.

When you asleep you close to time travelling… 

Don’t Make Me (feat. Kris BOSS) injects a hit of haunting darkness, a musically fuller soundscape with a string-like backdrop and a manic piano riff meet the high energy of DOC’s vocal and ideas in a powerful way. Then you get the simple and somewhat retro vibe that is ON!. Fusing age-old synths with a light and familiar beat, a hint of world-inspired instrumentation, DOC offers some of his most provocative and interesting lyrics yet.

Towards the end, 92 SAAB presents a moment of calm and contemplated reflection – an enjoyable bass-line and a rise-and-fall chord progression create the perfect groove for this softer vocal presentation. Another highlight, somewhat anthem-like and reminding me a little of the hip hop band Spooks. Turn Me On follows and ignites a vintage jazz-cafe mood that’s cinematically immersive.

What you notice with each revisit, is that while volume and quirks are what first appeal, as well as clever, intelligently sourced lyricism, DOC’s personality and his individual story and background are offered up in shed-loads throughout these tracks. While there appears a level of distance between artist and listener, the closer you look, the more intently you listen, the more that proves to be anything but the case. DOC’s truth runs free on this album, in subtle but certain and smart ways, and this is the final building block that takes the album higher than eve.

GoodNight (feat. Kris BOSS) sees things to a colourful and energizing finish. A mighty collab, two artists with a shared mindset and understanding of the artistic space. A rhythmically collected, enjoyable groove, a great way to go out.

Espionage! is an intentional and thoughtful, creative hit. Doc STRANGE strikes again – nobody does it quite like he does.

Album out July 28th – find it over on Bandcamp. Check out our in depth interview with Doc. Strange here. Find & follow Doc STRANGE on Facebook. Visit his Website for more information.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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