Legally, this 11-track recording clocking in at 28:50 is a “short album”, but in a modern context you could say it’s half an album, so let’s call it an EP.
Technicality aside, Indian Summer is the brand new EP from Dumhi, a group whose music I have been enjoying and admiring from afar, and have stated so in reviews throughout the years. I always went out of my way to state that these guys are a group of individuals who love to smoke and party, and occasionally share that in their music. They always championed themselves as devoted and dedicated writers and lyricists. With Indian Summer, Dumhi show an incredible amount of growth and maturity, and for anyone to show this in hip-hop at a time when the music is packed with fly-by-night “talents” is a rare occurance, but I want to celebrate this.
The production of Haj has developed into something that is enjoyable to listen to with or without vocal tracks, he’s the kind of producer you want to hear and analyze to find out what breaks he uses, where the string samples come from, and then to wrap it up in a package that makes this a perfect “resume tape” for any and all artists? It’s not just the same old beats, you may hear a drum break that is filtered on the thin side, with the bass boosted and then a farfisa enters and is then chopped in a unique way, everything is organized very well, the type of organization that production nerds will raise their hands up for to celebrate the goodness.
Then you have the MC’s. On this album we have Mash Comp, Shameless Plug, Vex, Flud, Che Grand, Jermiside, Donwill of Tanya Morgan, Al Mighty, John Bap, and Random, so you have the core of what Dumhi is all about plus friends and close associates that essentially make the group look like a hip-hop Fishbone or Graham Central Station. In the downtempo vibe of “Mathmatical Fractal Flow”, Vex seems to be on another mental not quite grasp, for you hear the song sounding very laid back and yet he’s rapping in a number of different textures every two lines. It’s not the same-song cha-lang-a-lang, it kind of sounds like some of Andre 3000‘s lyrical schemes without getting too heady or freaky. I’m sitting listening to this song and after every two lines my smile kept getting bigger, I was thinking that this is the kind of thing that makes listening to hip-hop so great.
What a concept, huh, *listening* to hip-hop?
Dumhi are a group that you should listen to, mixing up twisted tales without fear of slipping in an obscure reference too and cracking some inside jokes. As Shameless Plus tells listeners he’s about to take listeners back and give them a smackdown in “One Week In August” , Mash Comp goes for his when he uses superheroes as metaphors to big-up his Dumhi nation while condemning what he calls “chalkboard rappers”. There are so many great verses and 1- or 2-liners worth talking about, and yes I’m basically saying that if you love wordplay, Indian Summer is a lyrical feast. Fuck an 8 Mile, this is what will inspire you to become a rapper, maybe make you reevaluate your style (or lack of it).
Dumhi have grown into powerful artists, with a confidence that equals the collective talents involved. It’s a level of maturity I wish all artists would stay around long enough to discover for themselves, and I hope that by Dumhi reaching this level, it will mean a continued supply of audio nickel bags for these guys.