Some pairings work well together. From peanut butter and jelly, coffee and chocolate, classical music and learning/studying, exercise and high-energy music. The components don’t share many things in common, but bring out the best in each other to better reach their ultimate ends. In music, pairings come in the form of duos (obviously) or producer-artist collaborations (less obvious), like Gaeko and Choiza of Dynamic Duo, the artpop duo EE, and rapper Cocca and producer Lil’ Jiyeon. Apart, they can do awesome stuff, but never has the phrase “the whole is great get than the sum of its parts” rang truer.

Konsoul & Holydays MOD

Enter Konsoul and Holyday. After collaborating on Konsoul’s “Man In The Mirror” single last year, the two went full on for the collaborative EP, MOD. Together they marry trap and unique vocal work into a great union.

Apparent from the beginning is Konsoul. If you never heard him before (and you should), you hear that voice. Similar to Skull, Konsoul’s delivery is rough as fuck. Unlike the former, who can rap clearly enough to enunciate his words despite his rasp, Konsoul doesn’t care to be understood, and I love that. On “Change,” with an ominous reverbed synth loop and hand claps behind him, Konsoul unintelligibly raps “hol’up we gon’ change,” a line I didn’t know he said until I looked it up a month after I first listened to the song. Konsoul is known for that, however, so when it appears in the opening cut “Patch/Progress,” it isn’t a shock.

What makes Konsoul someone to pay attention to is Holyday. By going the trap route, Holyday allows Konsoul to sound natural admist the oppressive bass noise that chokes MOD. Holyday clearly lives the noise he’s created, with his random whack-a-mole apparel cry throughout the EP, and Konsoul is having fun as well, providing a fun bounce to the Twangsta co-produced track, “같아,” and varying his rhythm to great effect on “Change.” The gem is “암전” with Loco and D.meanor.

On one side is Holyday and Konsoul, with D.meanor and Loco in the other; the latter are clear-voiced and smooth, while the former are grittier and clipped at times. A killer bass riff and mid-range percussive sounds that sound like something going through a grater, “Change” is the sit-like-a-boss track of the moment. The synergy between Konsoul and Holyday is electric and MOD shows trap can be done right.

Konsoul and Holyday are great together, mixing fantastic trap production and killer grit rap delivery on MOD. The EP comes in at 18 minutes, but it gives you a great case for trap. Loose beat structure that doesn’t hammer away at your eardrums with bass and a vocal style with so much manipulation you can barely discern the lyrics is the only combination that works in a genre that uses the current trap dad as a crutch. Konsoul and Holyday are right on with MOD, one of my favorite project releases in a long time.

Konsoul on Facebook.
Konsoul on Twitter.
Konsoul on iTunes.

Contributed to McRoth’s Residence with a focus on Korean indie and hip-hop music.