IamUlysse is a rapper, songwriter, musician, producer – artist – and brings a totally fresh touch of character to the down-tempo trap / hip hop game. His EP Dare To Fail opens up with a title track that immediately lays the foundation for what will follow. As a rapper, his lyricism and confidence come through and fit the darkness and hit of the beat really well. As an artist, there’s so much unexpected creativity here.
For what feels like a familiar track of the moment initially, the song evolves to include a completely unpredictable, smoothly melodic and delicate hook section. The beat falls away, the rap fades into a sung performance, reverb-soaked harmonies fill the outer edges – along with some stylishly experimental synths and riffs. You can hear the modern world of hip hop, but it’s merely a mild influence – what you hear for the most part is the individuality and artistry of IamUlysse, and that has value.
Nothing (Ft. SupaFlySam) fits musically with the mood of the project but takes things in a far more industrially dark direction, complete with angst and alternating voices that create around you a haunting yet crisp and skillful bit of performance. The track grows more addictive as it progresses, this heavy intensity and energy run deep but not without a dash of humour. Fans of that sound and that aspect of the genre will likely flock to this.
Run drives with a thick bass-line that brings a touch of world music to the scene. In contrast, the lightness of the vocal melodies creates an RnB-trip-hop fusion of sorts. The backdrop is incredibly creative once again. The rhythm of the piece has a hypnotic quality and there are so many different sections that your interest is held pretty well throughout. Later on, just as you think you know the formula, things change dramatically – IamUlysse keeps you on your toes, keeps the soundscape progressive and unpredictable. There are some distinct threads throughout this project that give it a sure sense of relevance and character.
I’m Done feels a little quicker than anything else, there’s a lightness to the melody, and the rap verse offers a genuine touch of reflection – considerate ideas about life and the world around him. You grow a little closer to the man behind the music here, which is always important, and doesn’t need to mean you sacrifice confidence or hype. This track evolves to be a personal highlight, that creative structuring is on point – once again, there are so many moments to witness and appreciate, and the added touch of personal realness brings a lot to the stage.
Soundscape precision reaches new heights with How Far, another highlight. There’s an emotional melancholy here that seeks to entrance and provoke thought. The intertwining vocals and synths work beautifully, there’s a sense of unity to the whole thing; the effects – even the auto-tune – create this otherworldly ambiance around you. And meanwhile, that trap rhythm and confidence stands tall.
The final song on this EP blows your expectations out of the water. Where there was creative variety before, this piece takes it so much further. A gorgeously emotional and mesmerising piece of psy-trance-infused, alternative RnB – it feels loud, heavy, immersive, and beautiful; all at the very same time.
More Light is a mighty way to finish. It reminds you at the final hurdle that you’ve stumbled upon a true artist, someone whose creative reach is inspired by but far from confined to the sounds of the moment. The unpredictable or unusual nature of the music means that you never know what the future will bring. There’s a refreshing level of creative eclecticism on this project and the production is stunning throughout, really letting that individuality shine brightly. I look forward to hearing what else comes through from IamUlysse over the coming months and years.