Inkstain Pro – Gyana (self-released)



Inkstain Pro are a click in Melbourne well connected with the various facets of underground hip-hop around town. The album contains appearances by such luminaries of the scene, like DJ Sizzle (DJ to Seth Sentry), Julez, Hugo (best known for his work on YouTube sensation Rap News), and Dyslexic CM – known for his collaboration with Warpa!nt in hit dubstep song ‘Beddageddabeddabeat’.

Gyana is chock-full of content; there’s more to absorb than all the usual aussie-bbq-n-beer-bullshit that I personally get sick to death of hearing pumped on Triple J.

To name but a few moments. Tracks like ‘Pack Light’s pack crew heat mixed with lyrical introspection, there’s fun moments with the ebbing and towing roller-coaster lyricism between lead rapper Link Dinklage and guest Julez, Melbourne’s bass music scene shines in beats and scratches blasted by DJ Peej, and there’s DJ Sizzle’s immaculate cuts, Flipsonic + Hyina Mufasa’s hilarious psychological breaking down of dead-end bogan culture, and the ode of ‘Richtor Ricky’ containing an important message on idiotic commodore culture in our fair country.

Gyana gains a more serious tone on the subject of our chemical culture in ‘On Task’, which really got me from a shared experience in growing up in a world where recreational drug-taking is the norm, and difficulty can be had in struggling between great heights and staggering delusion. Not many songs out there really have the guts to get under the skin of this sort of taboo like Inkstain Pro do with their commentary.

I could talk a lot about the other 10+ songs, but there’s only so much room here.

By the time it got up to ‘Frogs in the Pond’, Gyana seems more like a couple of works, and lost its initial impact to me. It’s not to say that the last few tracks aren’t quality, it’s just that with a sustained listen to an album that has a remarkable amount of content and thought placed in, it can wear you out mentally. An album of this length can have that effect in our contemporary high-turnover and low-concentration culture, and this might be something for Inkstain Pro to consider here for the future.

Or maybe not. Maybe it’s about learning to listen properly for once, instead of constantly regarding music as disposable in these days and times.

For those who actually still value individual works and have Gyana under their skin, this album may be just the thing everyone has been looking for in Australian hip-hop. For me, this album will require more than my usual allotment of review time to listen to it again. And maybe again, it inspired me like no other hip-hop release has in Australia for a long time now, and Triple J better get a hold of this one.

This album is free for release via Bandcamp.


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