Preview: Jay Rolex and MC Almond Milk - Smell the Audi
Debut album from hip hop and rap duo
'It might well be the best/worst Scottish album to come out this year.' When that opener falls into your inbox, you know you're going to check it out. Self-described 'slightly oddball pairing', Jay Rolex (Field Mouse) and MC Almond Milk (Conquering Animal Sound / CARBS) have come together in some sort of blissful union to produce a (self-described) 'slightly oddball album'.
Smell the Audi puts Rolex's 90s hip hop beats up against MC AM's bedroom rap existentialism and the result is a witty, dark, poignant melange.
'It might not be the most traditional of rapping styles,' says MC Almond Milk. 'It might not be the most in-your-face or full of the braggadocio or whatever.' As if pre-empting puzzle about his laid-back style, in one of the album's stand out tracks, 'Studz Up', MC AM compares himself to a footballer making his mark, 'maybe kicking somebody a bit too hard right at the start just to say, "don't mess with me. I'm good enough to be on this football pitch."'
Their two-man team works like this: Rolex digs in about the vinyl crates, reworking what he finds into serviceable compositions, to which MC AM adds his droll, often self-deprecating lyrics.
'One of the things I've noticed is with my voice is it's always slightly tongue-in-cheek,' says Milk. 'There's definitely a little bit of sarcasm, a little bit of black humour, which I think it quite natural in a Scottish voice.'
Rolex and Milk's alliance is evident on the record; you can tell the two aren't coming in blind. They have previously worked together, releasing a split tape in 2011 – Rolex in his Field Mouse guise and Milk under Japanese War Effort – and they run gigs as part of the Save As Collective. Their next night is, handily, the Smell the Audi launch party.
'What Smell the Audi has allowed me to do is really explore the straightforward style of rapping,' says Milk. He's currently putting the finishing touches to a solo album, 'which is a bit more spacious in allowing words and lines to have impacts. It's not quite as intense, lyrically, it's a bit more like spoken word.'
'It's really nice to be playing with those ideas and allowing me to find my voice and discover what works for me as a rapper.'
Smell the Audi comes out Fri 18 Nov via Save As Collective.