EP REVIEW: NEXCYX - (5 Song EP Sampler)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST -
Genre: Hip Hop,
4 piece Hip Hop band Nexcyx hails from Barbados is is set to release their debut 5 song EP fresh off the heels of their 2010 debut at South By Southwest as part of the Barbados delegation to the world renowned music conference. The band consists of Mahalia Phillips (Vocal) Andre Clarke (Keyboards) Kris Clarke (Bass) Russell Padmore (Guitar).
The EP kicks things off with “Bass” a sassy intro piece that serves up easy flowing dance grooves, against honey coated vocal layering & catchy chorus from Phillips. Track 2 “On the Floor” dishes out yet another diva-driven ditty against rich sonic layering, catchy harmonies & well placed vocal accents. This song has an impressive grand slam chorus. Track 3 “Queen” shifts gears with upbeat melody & lyrical content with & off the hook chorus where Phillips lets it all hang out. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of classic acts Expose, Mariah Carey, & maybe a splash of Gloria Estefan (Miami Sound Machine - on steroids) & of course Rihanna. The music itself is an impressive blend of modern dance pop, soul with a Latin aftertaste. Phillips voice goes down smooth, & is full of flavor, passion, honesty & even vulnerability. Phillips definitely knows how to fill the sonic space with her voice & she also brings to the table everything you would expect from an artist within this genre. She's got a spicy look, infectious persona, & strong vocal presence. You will also catch brief splashes of rock solid musicianship along the way. Phillips really makes the (singer to listener) connection with all the aforementioned. The songs themselves are short & sweet musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair, & signature groove. You will also notice rich layers of electronic instrumentation& well placed keyboard & synthesizer accents layered within the music. The EP ends with “Take a Minute” the perfect finale statement for an EP of this caliber.
At times the production lacks serious musical substance & sounds extremely sonic & synthetic. This is especially true when you listen to the rhythms & grooves which sound extremely thin, repetitive, & robotic in nature. The bar is set really high these days for these types of "Dance heavy" productions. When you listen to a world class dance groove you can see & feel what I'm talking about. Nxxcyx is clearly headed in the right direction, but perhaps more instrumentation is needed to spice things up even further. Things like a jazz piano, saxophone, horns, jazz guitar solos, & percussive elements & accents would greatly increase the overall production value.
Overall the debut EP from Nexcyx is a rock solid debut statement. At the end the day Phillips & company knows how to turn on the heat. Their best songs are clearly the ones that are spicy, seductive & "bring the groove." If Phillips & company put on a slam dunk live presentation they no doubt would have something powerful on their hands. So if you like a sonic musical experience that dishes out hypnotic dance grooves, against a honey coated vocal delivery then I highly recommend you jump into this CD head first. I look forward to hearing more material from Nexcyx soon.