For his latest release, the singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, KAIS, added an old-school hip-hop top-line to the beat of the standout instrumental single, R.E.M. State, which featured on his 2023 EP, What If I.
Collaborating with the rapper Garrison Cade, who has proven to be at the top of his game in his alt/indie band, Sam the Astronaut, which has taken Canada’s West Coast by storm, the two collaborators answered the question, what does it sound like when two powerhouses collide?
While we loved the artful ambience of the instrumental iteration for the temperate atmosphere that oscillated through our speakers, the hip-hop revival of the single reached the serendipitous pinnacle of visionary synergy.
With the verses flowing with the same transcendent philosophy as the intricate progressions, the reworking of R.E.M. State unravels as a meditation in authentically old-school ambient old-school hip-hop. KAIS & Cade couldn’t be derivative if they tried with their shared tenacity for versing and arranging melodies straight from the soul.
“R.E.M. State is the ‘Kaytranada – Bus Ride’ inspired track that started out as an instrumental on the ‘What If I’ EP released last February. A few ppl were asking for an old-school Hip-Hop top-line to the beat, and I thought Garrison Cade would make the perfect fit. Garrison is a talented rapper who also fronts ‘Sam the Astronaut’, a popular Canadian West Coast, Alternative/Indie band. I believe Garrison has the right pre-reqs for someone I could tour or perform a couple shows with at some point.”
Stream R.E.M State featuring Garrison Cade, which hit the airwaves on May 31st, via Spotify.
Review by Amelia Vandergast