Dr. Syntax & Pete Cannon – Elaborate Anoraks (Kompyla Records)

Venerated UK hip-hop figures team up for excellent second collaboration

Released Sep 23rd, 2015 via Kompyla Records / By Sam Bennett
Dr. Syntax & Pete Cannon – Elaborate Anoraks (Kompyla Records) Dr. Syntax and Pete Cannon follow up last year's Killer Combo with their new album. Elaborate Anoraks demonstrates the duo's humourous approach, with Syntax's witty but intelligent lyricism and Pete Cannon's hard hitting drums and synth-heavy production (with some great boom-bap stylings as well).

Turn The Sound Up! is a perfect opener; loud and guaranteed to get your head nodding, with Synners showing his charismatic delivery. Yeah! follows, and Syntax proves, with his melodic flow and well-structured bars, that his style really will 'stand out like it's King Kong wearing a pink thong'. If that lyric's not reason enough to buy this album I don't know what is. The sarcastic humour, along with obvious skill on the microphone and great subtle production from Pete, make this track a standout.

Wild! Crazy! Loco! is fantastic. Syntax raps about all manner of observances regarding the absence of any, well, 'wild, crazy or loco' aspects of his life. It's funny, Syntax's delivery is really effective, with a dead-pan tone, and his flow is on-point. The up-tempo, jazzy I F'd Up, with booming drums and silky keys and a memorable, catchy chorus, is another great track. Syntax raps with pace and intent, dealing with his regret after a break-up. The music and the subject matter are seemingly contradictory, but this is executed really successfully.

Media Frenzy continues the diverse range of styles on Elaborate Anoraks, with a soulful, restrained instrumental and an intelligent analysis on the over-bearing media that absorbs our daily lives. Girl I Want To is an over-the-top funky track, complete with vocoder. It's music that only Pete Cannon and Dr. Syntax could get away with, and get away with it they do. The Real Thing features crisp production and classy melodic synth lines. Pete Cannon's production is so diverse, and it's a testament to Pete and Syntax's partnership that Elaborate Anoraks is so eclectic yet so cohesive.

Continuing a successful collaboration with Killer Combo, Dr. Syntax and Pete Cannon have released a class album here. Elaborate Anoraks showcases their characteristic humour, both in terms of lyricism and musicality, with a variety of sounds and styles keeping the interest high and a wide scope of influences and genres. This is unique and recognisable; get your hands on this one.