BOSTON/NE BANDS, Fresh Stream

Lewis M — That New Violence

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Wordsmith to beatsmith, it’s a natural progression. Providence RI’s Lewis M came to Boston, as many do, for school, and got involved with the local spoken-word scene. He rolls with the Flatline Poetry crew, but on the side he’s been making beats to back some of his rhymes. Nowadays it’s no big deal to buy some software and kick out some instrumental tracks; hell, everybody’s doin’ it. Lewis’s workflow is loop-centered, however, and digging a little deeper for your material really can pay off. His acoustic numbers on THAT NEW VIOLENCE remind me of early work from Swiss producer Seelenluft, pulling exotica equally from world music and mid-century cinema and lounge. Another thing that can pay off is paying your dues in the poetry-slam circuit. Vocally, Lewis has a paced flow, with tonality that invokes nerd-core somewhat, and that association is reinforced by clever scripting. The “FUN” In Funeral is the only rap track on this SC self-release, but its comi-cynical riff on the Michael Brown episode in our collective zeitgeist is probably my favorite of the many spawned. At its roots, this is rebel music, and who doesn’t love a good spit in the face of authority. For more dope raps by Lewis M, you can scroll down a few months to the LP-length SC release AMPERSAND, which features Lewis M sharing the mic with some MassArt friends and poets such as Haasan Barclay and Tru Kwene.

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