Bocka Du is the production name of Resek Records founder Ellis ‘DeaVious’ Deaves. A labor of love this latest mixtape is the second released under this moniker. Taking a more stripped back and simple approach to sampling the result is songs that maintain an honesty and integrity, which when held up to the sometimes overproduced beats coming out of the mainstream is a breath of fresh air. There is a nostalgic passion dripping through every track on this EP which feels pretty retro but with a fresh gut punch of booming rhythm. There is an age old adage that goes something along the lines of ‘the difference between a good and a bad artist is knowing when the painting is done’, some people will keeping adding flair and tat far past the point when the work reached it’s peak, this is not true of Bocka Du. Knowing precisely when the track is as crisp, fresh and funky as it ever will be what we get from Bocka Du is a tasty slice of laid back, groovy jams.
Whether you treat the beat tape as a work of it’s own and chill out to the lo fi easy listening melodies emanating from your speaker, or as a statement of intent from Bocka Du, advertising his freelance production skills to any musician or lyricist who digs the vibe, this is a work that more or less speaks for itself. This is one of the things that sets Bocka Du apart from other producers, his lust for collaboration and his ability to lift up the artists around him. This is a man committed to the game itself as a whole and a dedicated proponent in the evolution and generation of new and exciting hip hop.
Dumonstrate itself is a impeccably crafted and impressive outing. Each track exists on their own but come together to create a narrative journey through the ages from old school to new hitting every stage in between. It is beautiful in it’s simplicity, Bocka Du’s ability to isolate the instrument from a song that is working the hardest and then bring it out in a sample and lay it over the top of sometimes adorably basic percussion highlights the soul that was previously beating sometimes unseen in the background of the work it was lifted from. The way these singled out instrumentals are interpolated into his tracks bare leaves them stripped, naked and all the more enjoyable. At times this simplistic approach can seem a little clunky or rugged and particularly on the second track ‘Easy To Be Hard’ a stutter effect is used that for me takes you out of the piece. Minor nitpicking aside the release is largely enjoyable, fueled by the best intentions and filled with engaging samples and snippets of excellence it’s worth more than just a passing listen.
Words by Matt Miles.