"The boys are back, the boys of summer, and this time Ace Rock is the drummer." Thus states Murs on the opening track to his and Slug's collaborative project Felt's third installment. As is customary, this record is too named after a B-List celebrity that happens to be taking their fancy at the moment and while Christina Ricci and Lisa Bonet were pretty damn solid releases Felt 3 has the added bonus of featuring the mighty Aesop Rock on production duties and the results are effortlessly special.
Murs and Slug boast two of indie raps smoothest flows and when put side by side the rhymes are liquid. It's good to see these MC's out from behind their day jobs and Aesop Rock certainly gives them a plentiful backdrop on which to perform. His beats are crunching and refreshingly unpredictable. Meticulously crafted they glisten with detail and boom with such depth. It would be impossible not to raise your game as an MC to assure that this backdrop doesn't make you look bad. And raise their game they do.
Individually Murs and Slug have rarely slipped up and together their powers are two-fold. Hip hop collaborations are not always a guaranteed success, with egos and flows often finding it hard to play nicely together but as Felt, Murs and Slug rhyme like one entity. The lyrics bounce in every way, between each beat and between each MC, as they alternate verses and slot in rhymes each song evolves into impressively complex constructions. Ace slices these rhymes up with expert precision on the beats, they're equally complex, they're very dense and and very Def Jux. It was a tough ask to contribute anything to a project that already had a flawless back catalogue but with the addition of Ace this collaboration has turned into a supergroup for sure.