One Sixth: Electronic Mail
- Despite my questionable efforts to the contrary, most talented, budding, Aussie hip-hop fails to find its way to me until it's no longer some underground secret and I'm forced to share my enjoyment with the rest of the world, or at least the rest of Australia, admittedly I'm not all too sure how much anyone outside Australia cares, but I'm guessing it's not all that much at all. Apparently this old dog isn't picking up any new tricks anytime soon, with this week seeing another new, not-so-new entrant into Australia's continually maturing hip-hop landscape, the relatively mysterious and reasonably intriguing One Sixth. While I'm not positive of the dude's age or where he lays his head after his arduous days spent rapping, what I can manage to pin down is the fact I seem to quite like the dude. His debut full-length, the timelessly titled Electronic Mail, is not quite like anything I've heard this year of it's kind and I mean that in the best way possible. Whether it's just One Sixth's lack of strong accent, the beats he's chosen for the record or something even more sinister, Electronic Mail sounds more heavily influenced by that brief, yet impressive run of hip-hop music that was coming out of Britain between one or two handfuls of years ago, despite the occasional American pop-culture sample slightly muddying the waters. It's out of this introspective mud that One Sixth shine's so bright, the record a testament in going one's own way and all that, an understated collection of songs never looking to take the easy option, never seeing the need to be overly flashy or give in to gimmicks, a steadfast quality that is all too uncommon. Whether it's a conscious decision, or one simply forced by his relative newness to the game, very few of the guests or producers here are even remotely household names, with Mantra being just about the only the only name I could pick from the list of collaborators that helped add a little spice to proceedings. The lack of big egos here works in the record's favour, with the guests seamlessly appearing and disappearing throughout the record, small pieces of the bigger picture that One Sixth has created, with room to breathe he firmly plants his feet and doesn't give an inch. Late album cut, "Think Of You" shows two things: the first, despite most of the best tracks here being solo joints, One Sixth can play well with others, and second, the guy can write a sweet song that perhaps against my better judgement, I really like - it's a heartfelt, realistic and upbeat ode to those intense infatuations that tend to rule over our entire being and govern all too many of our important life decisions. One Sixth seems like a clued in, intelligent and down to earth young man, and I'm only too happy to have him in my life now, a welcome addition to this ever growing, extended family of mine. Electronic Mail is a really promising and well-put together debut and is well worth a look for those a little jaded with the current state of popular Australian hip-hop.
- Jay Edwards.