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21 Songs on a Tape Machine: Concious Presence Review

by Alana Johnson 

The upcoming Swedish Rap group, Conscious Presence, released their first album May 7th, and honestly it’s a revelation.


The band describes themselves as having a “recording quality of the 70s, feel of the 90s, and a message and expression of today.”  Finding current rap that gives that old school vibe is near impossible, but this band manages to do just that, while still staying woke. The band consists of four members; Joshua Snyman on vocals, and Phillippe Christen mastering the beats alongside DJ Okay and Ra Pius.

You might wonder why they need three people making beats all at once? Because every one of the 21 songs off their new album were recorded on a tape machine. In one take. Every scratch you hear, every beat that changes, was done on cue in studio. This band deserves some serious recognition – doing anything in one take is bold. They recorded this album at Satori Records, which specializes in using analog vintage equipment.

One of the reasons why rap normally doesn’t interest me is that the instrumentals are usually too simple, and even when the rapper is talented, the music behind him/her throws me off. So if you’re anything like me, this album is for you. The bass vibrates so strongly and the smooth transitions from verse to chorus seamlessly piece each song together. Some of my favorite tracks with kickass instrumentals are ‘Black Emerald,’ ‘Resonance,’ and ‘Elements.’

It’s not just the music that’s impressive, however. The lyrics are extremely clever. They tackle issues like self-hate, reminding listeners, “comparing yourself is a character flaw but confronting yourself is the maverick of law” (lyrics from ‘Love, Everybody’). Other songs, like ‘Divine,’ smash the way society curbs creativity, telling listeners that after they realize life isn’t just going to work in a “suit and tie” they will “see connections behind the manipulative and the deceptive”.

Their album still has less than a thousand listens on Spotify. They’re a band focused on sending a positive message of love, and you should definitely show them some in return. If you like rap, show Conscious Presence some support on their groundbreaking first album. I definitely expect more great things to come!

Conscious Presence Spotify  //  Conscious Presence Bandcamp



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