Things get real pretty quickly as the Lazarus Experiment EP kicks up. J. Asadi crafts his soundscapes and verses with equal levels of grit and poignancy, holding very little back and always moving onwards and upwards towards the height of self-empowerment and progress. The Invitation is the opener, moving straight in with a finely built ambiance portraying a dark fusion of hip hop and synth-wave. It’s a powerful piece of music that sounds crisp and dreamlike in the same instance, suiting the tone and mood of Asadi’s leading voice and his ideas fairly flawlessly. Things continue to pour through in a similar fashion from here on in.
Never Fall offers a similar level of darkness and intensity, suddenly there’s weight though – there’s passion and angst in the vocal, even with its familiarity, and furthermore there’s a level of self-empowerment and motivation to the whole thing. There’s also an easily effective hook – all of this builds up well to create what is perhaps the first genuinely immense and memorable part of the project. The lyrics fascinate, Asadi presents equal parts personal truth and widely accessible ideas about life and drive in general. A great track and a definite highlight.
Keep Rollin’ (Dark Mafia Anthem) is a track with a Till I Collapse kind of vibe and level of energy. The beat is thick and hits hard, there are a couple of characterful riffs and sounds scattered throughout that paint a dramatic and creatively unique experience before you. At this point you undoubtedly notice the flow and the lyricism in full force – Asadi is an impressive writer and performer, these lines speak volumes on behalf of that; there’s value and eye-opening perspectives offered, and still that energizing element of motivational power stands tall.
It has to be said that sadly a lot of recent hip hop releases tend to offer perhaps one or two real tracks of worth – creative, passionate, intentional – then they bulk out the rest of the playlist with similar feeling songs that don’t really add anything further or hold your attention well. In the case of Lazarus Experiment, you can hear and indeed feel that each track has been crafted with purpose and care. Every moment is crisp and clear-cut so as to follow the mood of the conceptual journey, and meanwhile Asadi pours his story and his personality into the process. Sky’s the Limit is no exception, far from it – the track makes sense where it is and that intensity continues to rise. You’re captivated here and the project in full is pushing you even more so towards action and climbing higher.
All I Know (feat. Coax Marie) changes direction a little, still Asadi’s voice and unquestionable levels of passion and presence keep the threads alive. There’s a quickness here though, an electronic energy and a slightly different delivery style that again compels you to listen and to follow the details along. Spirits (feat. E-Po) follows and adds further eclecticism, mellowing things out to the more thoughtful, bringing through a different kind of realness and a layer of soul that’s really well-received. The rhythm and subtle bounce of the music has a certain delicacy that works beautifully as the penultimate track of the project – you also witness a slightly more vulnerable side to the artist, which is important and incredibly valuable in terms of letting an audience really connect and relate.
The final track of the EP is perhaps the most emotional of all. Undefeated (Holy War) has a slightly epic feeling of anticipation about it from the early moments – the music blissfully fuses the organic and electronic worlds, modestly though, and the vocal delivery has a softness to it that gives the words greater strength and makes you feel as if there’s really something worth hearing. The lyrics grow more and more striking as the song evolves, the concept moves through difficulty to optimism – the balance makes perfect sense as it encapsulates everything you’ve heard throughout the EP. During these final moments the reflective nature of the music and the lyrics entrances and adds so much to the experience. A great way to go out. An EP absolutely worth the time it takes to listen.