Review: S-Type – Billboard EP

S-Type’s been in the game since the mid noughties, expertly crafting high-octane beats on par with his contemporaries and label mates on LuckyMe. The Glasgow based producer is one of the many seemingly fresh-faced beatmakers poised to hit critical mass with their eyes set on the US hip-hop community. The title track off his “Billboard EP” made a splash in Rustie’s essential mix earlier this year and since then the hype has been brewing. After half a year it has arrived, along with five other tracks, and we’re more than satisfied with the final result. Right from the get go S-Type reels us in courtesy of the familiar leads of “Billboard”. It is unquestionably an anthem filled with gaudy top lines not atypical of mainstream hip hop. When at its peak, it leaves no room to breathe (this is a good thing). He thankfully sprinkles enough dips over the three and a half minutes, which keeps it interesting rather than loopy. One thing people have pointed out about S-Type is his sample material and as an MPC veteran it’s no surprise that his samples are chosen and executed with such precision; the way that he often teases the original source at the beginning is also a nice touch. On “Flyp City” that is precisely what he does. Utilizing his usual palette of sounds he writes another bright and sweet beat. Kicks pierce through the harshest of sounds leaving hard-hitting but a sufficiently playful instrumental. “Sensai Star” is an absolute waterfall of bass and melodic leads. As of late these sort of spacey beatless synth tracks seem to be in vogue; it wouldn’t surprise us if at a later point a female vocalist is spotted singing over this. Personally we’d like to see Prince on this.. hey, we can dream, right? Proving that he has nothing against vocalists, S-Type enlist the talents of Budgie on “Walrus”. Though rigid in certain areas the track has light soul undertones, due in part to Budgie’s heavily vocoded voice. The vocal will definitely be a make or break for some people; we are definitely in the make category.

Stream: S-Type – Billboard (LM013)

After two departures from explicitly club beats, S-Type drops “Whole Lotta” which is a contender for the track off this record we’re most likely to wyle out to. For the first time we see S-Type leave behind most of the overtly bright synths for a more beat and bass centric instrumental on this EP. We can’t forget to mention the classy vocal chops that continuously sound off: “Ass in tha club, whole lotta ass in tha club.” This is a solid beat although its longevity might be questionable. The closing track, “You Da Best”, has made appearances in quite a few DJ sets over the last year or so. Again, S-Type showcases the original sample during the first few seconds before storming into the chorus. Horns are at the forefront of this beat giving us something to hum along to. Clocking in at two and a half minutes the track quickly finishes since he leaves the last few bars for the original sample slowed down this time. LuckyMe and S-Type are on point with this EP and even though at times it can sound slightly recurrent, there’s no denying how bold these beats sound. It’s clear S-Type has honed and developed his own unique style. He is perhaps lining up next to the likes of Hudson Mohawke and Rustie which shows that, comparable to the Los Angeles beat scene, the artists who run in Glasgow are close-knit and highly collaborative.

Stream: S-Type – Walrus ft Budgie (LM013)

S-Type’s Billboard EP is available now on LuckyMe.

Jonathon Alcindor

Writer & Techy. My word is bond, whatup doe? Twitter,