Review: Shyste and DeeJay Tone – Climate Control

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Tonight marks the official release party for DeeJay Tone and Shyste’s EP “Climate Control – Winter Edition” at Bogies. Tickets are $15 at the door and the show will feature performances by DeeJay Tone, Shyste, RA The Rugged Man and PJ Katz and the Fat Buckle Band, with DJ Deuce on the 1’s and 2’s. The first 50 people through the door will get a free hardcopy of the album so don’t sleep.

Like most people, I’m a big fan of when things organically come together the way that I had envisioned and hoped they would. There’s nothing quite like meeting a deadline, even when you don’t think you’re going to. Simply put, it’s a beautiful thing when things align.

That being said, I’m happy to report that things have aligned beautifully for DeeJay Tone and Shyste in their forthcoming collaborative efforts. Timely with the seasons, DeeJay Tone and Shyste have committed themselves to releasing a 4-part EP series as the year presses onward, all leading up to a full length release this fall.

First up is the “Winter Edition” of their project, titled “Climate Control.” Winter is everyone’s favorite season to talk about. It’s cold, it’s inconsistent, it’s bitter, it’s not summer, it’s messy, it’s occasionally alright, etc. One of my friends even posed the following questions recently: “People who pretend to like snow: Do you pretend to have similar feelings toward rain? Where do you sit? Do you also prefer cute over sexy?” Talk about it.

But enough about the weather for now, this is about Climate Control…

The EP opens with an appropriate introduction, with a sample saying “here’s the weather report,” the name of the album and snippets of a severe winter weather alert. The introduction is accented by cuts courtesy of DJ Nate Da Great and was produced by DeeJay Tone. Tone is on the production duties for majority of the project and has been collaborating with Shyste for almost a decade. The two work well together and that is evident in this 7-track EP.

Reflecting on the moods of winter, this album gets cold as ice in its honesty. Winter is gritty and this collection of songs showcases some polish to that grit in the production and lyrical performance, without any attempts at unnecessary glamour.

The track “The Hurt File” was produced by Vanderslice, with cuts from Nate Da Great and acts as a vocal introduction to Shyste. I like the flow of this song and the downtempo beat isn’t overshadowed by faster paced lyrics, making for a balanced listen. “If You Move” and “Hard Times” also had me grinning as I listened. Both tracks are crafted and executed well and also act as a good introductory to the collaborations between Tone and Shyste; I’m ready to hear more. A welcome addition to the ever-expanding discography of 518 hip hop.

I also particularly enjoyed the guest features from the FWORD Records family with the likes of Mista Pigz on “Hookers N Gin,” and Mic Lanny on “Father of Night.” Lanny delivers 16 bars with confidence and a coolness that adds to the successes of the album with natural ease. “Hookers N Gin” uses a sample from Portishead and could be a soundtrack to a James Bond scene, particularly Casino Royale, if you ask me.

Bonus: Be sure to check out their official video for “The Hurt File” as well:

See you later.

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