Kper @ ukhh: ”Straight from his dusty basement in Bristol comes the second album from Hundred Strong, a much more mellow and soulful affair then his first outing on Hombre Records five years ago. Having taken his time to put this album together seems to have paid off for Ben Dubuisson aka Hundred Strong, as ‘Basement Blues’ shows a maturity and dedication to the craft that is not always seen on a lot of lazier sophomore releases.
While the whole album does have a strong soulful and laid back feel to it, the vibes and influences are varied and the album doesn’t just pass you by without making a mark. The presence of label mates Jason Todd and Def Harmonic alongside talented rhymers and singers such as Taskforce, EV.ON, Alison Crockett and Joseph Malik make ‘Basement Blues’ a diverse and interesting album, that doesn’t just fit into one neat labelled box, but instead hops in and out of genres and styles, yet stays bound by Ben’s sample based productions and instrumental touches.
The LP features a few instrumental tracks, such as the melancholic ‘Odeon’. Lunaversol9 graces the dubbed out riddims of ‘Flavor’, one of the nicest cuts on there, while Jason Todd drops some ‘Hardcore Poetry’ and Joseph Malik rhymes over the rock riffs of ‘Once More’. Elsewhere Def Harmonic make your brain dizzy on ‘Brain Busy’, with its tribal vibe and eastern influenced drums. Taskforce also put on a fine appearance on the spaced out ‘Life’s Beat Me’, a real far out track on which the rugged voices of Chester and Farma float as naturally as is possible and EV.ON’s offerings on ‘Dream on Delay’ deliver what is probably the most ‘straight forward’ hip hop track on there.
The whole thing is kept together by Ben’s deft sampling skills and arrangements as well as some very choice scratches and cuts, which never sound too overbearing or pointless, even if they might sound out of place at first listen.
Overall this is a strong and original album, from a producer you’ll want to get familiar with.”
1 Hundred Strong Intro 1:35
2 All Ain’t The Same 4:04
3 Mostly Empty Solid Space [Featuring] – Def Harmonic 3:30
4 Odeon (Instrumental) 3:45
5 Hardcore Poetry [Featuring] – Jason Todd 3:45
6 Flavor [Featuring] – Lunaversol9 6:31
7 Lead Not Follow 3:48
8 Eastern Interlude 1:14
9 Once More 3:54
10 Brain Busy [Featuring] – Def Harmonic 5:28
11 Soul Interlude 0:33
12 What Shall We Rap About [Featuring] – EV.ON 3:55
13 Dream On Delay 3:38
14 Life’s Beat Me (Reprise) [Featuring] – Task Force 4:41