Some may recall that Cryptic One’s album FYSM earned itself a well-deserved spot on Sound Chaser Reviews’ Top 50 Albums of 2013. What many may be unaware of is that Cryptic One is also a member of the Hip-Hop group ATOMS, whose new album, SANDS, I would be foolish to leave un-reviewed.
Indeed, my piqued interest did not go unsatisfied. The album is a solid piece of work, to say the least. The production choices are creative and daring, with a surprisingly effective mix of organic and synthetic sounds, perfectly exemplified in the title track, in which an organic, almost acoustic-sounding beat and organ sounds are juxtaposed against infectious synthesizer melodies that wouldn’t be totally out of place in an EDM track.
The album is an engaging experience, but one of depth and dimension as well, as flows and production remains diverse enough throughout the album, from the laid-back, easy-groovin’ “Transmissions from Talakad” to the more harsh, aggressive-sounding “Kapoof!.” The group also delves seamlessly into darker territory with “Star Clusters,” utilizing sparse, minor piano samples and suspenseful strings, building a mood more effectively than most rap tracks I can think of.
The group excels on SANDS where any Hip-Hop album should. The beats, production, flow, and lyrics are all engaging and interesting, drawing you into the music and keeping you there. ATOMS’ Cryptic One made top albums lists of 2013, and with this release, he’s likely to find himself a spot on the best of 2014 lists with the rest of the group.