Social Memory Complex | Prequel EP

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Hip-Hop/Rap: Hip Hop Electronic: Trip Hop Moods: Mood: Weird
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Prequel EP

by Social Memory Complex

Imagine the record Deltron, Mr.Lif, and DJ Krush would make after crashing their flying saucer in Twin Peaks. WARNING:If you like MIKE JONES or two-word hooks,this is NOT for you.
Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap: Hip Hop
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1. What is Social Memory Complex?
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1:13 $0.99
2. Fantastic Machines
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4:17 $0.99
3. True Light
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4:54 $0.99
4. Common Law
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3:31 $0.99
5. Suze
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3:47 $0.99
6. Sirens
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4:13 $0.99
7. Tranzformation Remix
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3:47 $0.99
8. Jon Tesch
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3:49 $0.99
9. Tranzformation
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Enter the mind of Social Memory Complex: thought provoking, intelligent in content and superior in production best characterize the nature of this particular Hip Hop group based out of Carrboro, North Carolina. Even though Prequel is their first completed project, with it, SMC demonstrates that they are certainly a force to reckon with. Emcee Stajprezence, rumored to be an intricate hybrid of human and alien, delivers dark yet beautiful left field thoughts in the form of fresh and powerful rhymes. Producer Modest, physicist by day and mad scientist by night, launches an excellent display of well integrated sounds that intensifies the mood of each piece. Additionally, DJ TrizzKomplex hits you in the head with the cuts of “Doom and Pain”, simple yet compound, and extraordinarily well placed. Any listener will find that the entire album merits replay.

When asked to describe their sound, SMC members simply stated, “Imagine Deltron, Mr. Lif and DJ Krush crashing a flying saucer in Twin Peaks”. Visions such as this can easily be achieved by exploring songs like “Fantastic Machines”. It illustrates a journey into Phillip K. Dick’s proto-cyberpunk fearscape, and admirably quotes, “worst case scenario: all of a sudden, Armageddon’s downloaded with the press of an escape button”. Further, “True Light”, an exploration of the matter-of-fact life in Carrboro, more intricately conveys a Twin Peaks vibe; its lyrics and sound alike are an elite combination of seriousness and humor. The rawness of which is expressed when Staj proclaims, “I can’t afford to lash out on society like these rich white kids/The consequence is just to big/I’m already stuck behind the counter at the coffee bar/Servin’ hippie fucks with guitars”. On another level, “Suze” delivers an image of a desirable, yet depressed female who has found herself unable to cope with life; with a mind forced to focus on utter destruction, she wears all black in preparation for the apocalypse. Alternatively, tracks such as “Sirenz” bring a hard hitting bang, an equally appreciable part to the whole.

The production is sick, encompassing both skilled scratches and smooth yet aggressive wordplay. One should rethink never judging a book by its cover. Embedded in the artwork, which envelops the prequel, lies the following submission: “SMC equals intelligence”. Social Memory Complex is on the rise and has already shared the stage with names such as DJ Vadim, One Self, Dalek, Insight, Count Bass D, MeatBeat Manifesto, Perceptionists, Alias Brothers and Hieroglyphics. It’s simple: if you want Hip Hop with an edge, Social Memory Complex is that crew.


Reviews


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The Independent Weekly


Social Memory Complex's battle is upHill. That is, their existence is a reflection of what it means to be making rap music in a predominantly indie rock town, a town like Chapel Hill. SMC gigged locally for several months before releasing a wax single, True Light, last year. This, their nine-track Prequel EP, not only makes it easier to get inside the Complex fully, but it also makes a starter's case for a fledgling hip-hop community with bigger aspirations. Indeed, Social Memory Complex talks about life in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, as full of hilarious detail as it may be. Check the trivia: Above Modest's productions, lyrics from MCs Staj Prezence and TrizComplex offer images from across town, like women wearing all black in case of the apocalypse or the really big shows at the Cat's Cradle. Rappers in the "Paris of the Piedmont," listening to deep hip-hop cuts instead of doing the boho at Weaver Street Market? "I can't afford to laugh down on society like all these rich white kids/ Consequence is just too big/ I'm already stuck behind the counter at the coffee bar/ Servin' hippy fucks with guitars," they rhyme at one point. Compared to Chapel Hillians Kaze and Spectac, who dug directly into self-reflection and their roots, and living dead's nihilism, the SMC cats go way out into Philip K. Dick's proto-cyberpunk fear-scape. There's a telling segment from "Fantastic Machines": "Worst case scenario: All of a sudden, Armageddon's downloaded with the press of an escape button." The Complex agrees with old Bill Burroughs that "A paranoid is someone who knows the facts." It's hard to ignore the cover, too, which looks like Appetite for Destruction cover artist Robert Williams getting a science-fiction novel cover commission. The art symbolizes the paranoid, futuristic thought here, like Doctor Octagon's surreal narratives. Political-minded outcries for change—those call-outs so overdone in independent hip hop today—pop up occasionally, too. But, among these observational snapshots, other jewels shine: "Fantastic Machines" uses a grimy groove and some old-style sampling to great effect, and the growling "Sirens" rambles like a squad car with axle trouble. And Modest's concise production here should push him out of the well-kept secret category: Just behind the main beat of a cut, he's prone to float a scratchy undercurrent, adding a foreboding tone or a bit of drama to the proceedings. While Social Memory Complex remain "conscious" (as reggae folk would say), here, they're testing their skills and exploring their own identities as Americans and Chapel Hill rappers.

The Daily Tarheel


Chapel Hill, as we all know, is home to more than just alternative rock music. These days, that might be best exemplified on the hip hop end by Social Memory Complex, a lyrics/DJ/production trio. The group’s EP, Prequel, showcases its lyrics - which are mostly of the introductory, “Here we are, check it out” - type, clean beats and fitting production quality. Social Memory is Staj Prezence (lyrics), Modest (production) and DJ Trizzac (cuts), and often can be found playing around town with Chapel Hill locals Common Ground and L in Japanese. The opener, “What is Social Memory Complex?” backs up the idea given by the group’s name: this music will have some thought behind it. On this debut, that’s where Social Memory shines - in rhymes that you want to listen to more than once. The EP’s best beat comes with “Suze,” which breaks the straightforward feel of previous tracks with a vocal sample (which is well-integrated), and a darker feeling (which is neccessary for the lyrics). “Prequel” does just what a first EP should do: tell us what we can expect to come. - Margaret Hair