EP Review: Cali P & Teka - Vizion I
by Gardy Stein
It's 2019! After all those polls and votings for "album of the year 2018", the slates should now be wiped clean for new music and fresh sonic experiences. One of the first to reach us is the EP Vizion I by Cali P, produced by Berlin's multi-talented Thilo Jacks aka Teka and released under the latter's LowLow Records label.
And what a perfect match those two make! You might have tasted their flow already on the single Baddest that's been out since last November, a powerful and heartfelt livication to some of the "baddest" Reggae and Dancehall singers of our times. While Cali P excels vocally, trap-ping the names in rhymes and hammering every note, it's the underlying riddim that enables him to soar. Teka has managed to find an alluring mix of deep Roots bass, trenchant modern beats and a relaxed HipHop-flow, tipping the EP's sound to a unique prism of innovation.
Equally bass-strong but slightly reduced in tempo, the subsequent Life Lesson is an intense plea to stop violence, crime and badness - better you live like a king! With When You Hold Me, Cali P brings love, sweet love into play. Again, Teka succeeded in making the tune interesting by simplest means: an easy Reggae skank and digital hihats pervade the track while a hooky keyboard-melody and a fitting bass-line accentuate the more fluid features.
While musically, the next track combines the melodic flow and warm bass that we are by now used to with some old-school sounds, When Things Go Up is probably the most elaborate song lyrically. Discussing the ups and downs of life, Cali P advocates a mindset of alert positivity that can be seen as an expression of the singer's general attitude, a stance that has grown through the years and shows his steady development.
Well, and that's it! There are only four tracks on the release, but each of them is so on point and exciting to discover that you'll just put them on repeat, over and over again. Together with the fine artwork by Jonathan Gehlen (that throws me right back to cozy Sunday afternoons with my father's slide presentations of our family-holidays), the EP Vizion I marks an energetic start into this young year and makes me personally wish for a continuation of this fruitful collaboration.
Cali P & Teka - Vizion I
DIGITAL RELEASE [LowLow Records]
Release date: 01/11/2019
02. Life Lesson
03. When You Hold Me
04. When Things Go Up