Reviewed by FRANK EGGLETON
COCO SOLID: COKES
Having teamed up with a number of producers and guest MCs over the past six years, ‘creative multi-disciplinary’ Jessica Hansell, aka Auckland-based rapper Coco Solid, has threaded this mixtape together with her own wit and burn style of rapping to the fore.
‘Cokes,’ is brimming with collaboration and thoughtful aggression. ABC was the first Coco Solid track I listened to years ago – it’s a lo-fi homage to sex (at a guess).
She has come a long way since, among other things writing and starring in a web series called Aroha Bridge – soon to be a Maori TV series. She was recently announced as the 2018 recipient of a Fulbright-Creative NZ Pacific writer’s residency in Hawai’i.
The ‘Cokes’ album’s eclectic track styles run the gamut from prime time bangers to sunrise Lindauer in the bath and every dancefloor in between. Crop That Back, produced by Melbourne-based Yumgod, is the poppiest track of the album – Hansell’s repeating of the shimmering melodic line, ‘Don’t get played out,’ is surely one of the hooks of the year.
But That Voice Is Still There, produced by Japan-based NZ producer LiL Stiffy has a great lyrical pace. It’s a strong example of why rap and techno should work together more.
There are shades of the Gorillaz, ‘70s disco, ‘90s video game soundtracks 1990’s and 2000’s techno.
It all comes from the rotation of producers, which helps the album stay fresh and vibrant with each track, the varied influence of the producers washing over the whole sound of the album.