Sol.Illaquists of Sound- THE 4TH WALL (Part 1 & 2) Self Released
For those who might not know who this super group is, Sol.Illaquists of Sound a.k.a Solilla a.k.a. S.O.S. are a Orlando based band that consists of 4 members that include Asaan Brooks/Swamburger (Vocalist), Alexandrah Sarton (Vocalist), Tonya Combs (Vocalist) and Glen Valencia/DiViNCi on production (the 4 members draw similarities to the 4 Elements/Pillars of Hip Hop). Their journey as a group began in 2002 with their rookie release “4 Student Consol (Running from Precedence) and began the trilogy with the release “As If We Existed” which was then followed by “No More Heroes”. With each subsequent release and their consistent touring globally, they’ve built a strong and much deserved following. They recently released “The 4th Wall (parts 1 & 2) which is the last release in their “Listener’s Trilogy” saga. In order to follow this adventure, you definitely have to get the whole collection. I must note that this project was not released on any label and was created to allow S.O.S. to connect to their fans and allow those fans to assist financially in “The 4th Wall’s” completion.
My style as a freelance journalist may seem awkward to some because I never give away too many details of a release. I do that because, I fear that if I do go into too much detail, and break the whole album/release down, there will be many who will claim “Yeah, I heard that before” and not give that artist(s) a chance. My goal is to avoid that scenario and pique ones interest enough for said artist(s) to be given a chance to showcase their skills without preconceived notions. Solilla deserve at least that…a chance.
Since “the 4th Wall” is a double LP, there’s a lot to digest in the form of obvious in your face messages and some “read between the lines” wordplay riddled throughout. They storm right out the gate (in Part 1) with their first track titled “Thicker Than Blood”. DiViNCi’s boom-bap production is impeccable as always and is followed by great performances by the rest of the group. Swamburger’s flawless lyricism shows why in my opinion he’s such an unappreciated emcee, but his lyrics are accentuated by the beautiful vocalizations from both Tonya and Alexandrah. No disrespect, but as talented as Swam is, the other members draw just as much attention and contribute equally to each track (not many groups display this sort of unity).
The next track I want to highlight is “Natural Disaster”. It’s a really high energy and dope track. Makes you wanna run through a F’N wall (excuse my exuberance); this track will get multiple replays for sure. “50/50” is a song about relationships primarily between an individual and their partner. My interpretation is, what you put into a relationship (positive or negative) you get back (the same can be said about any relationship). The beat is beautiful along with the vocalizations. Next is “Snooze Button” which keeps things moving and features sick cuts from the extraordinary DJ SPS…Don’t Sleep!!! Coming with that Blue Grass feel is their ode to “Orlando”. I’ve always felt that S.O.S. have and still champion Central Florida’s ever-emerging music/art scene. This song is a testament to the limitless and talented energy that emanates from the cracks and crevices of the O-Zone. It’s an extremely fun track to vibe or wild out to! “The Witness” is another beautifully orchestrated track. Alexandrah proves she can hold her own with sultry vocals sung in French. Message: You need to really LISTEN! Part 1 comes to an unfortunate end with another moving song called “Suite of a Thousand Thank Yous.” However, one should be souped to continue this journey on Part 2 where things are taken to astronomical levels.
Part 2 starts where Part 1 left off with the opening interlude (Breaking the Silence) and this message (delivered by Tonya): “ And as other sounds fade, we must begin to realize that the real heroes only die when we stop LISTENING to ourselves”. The interlude then segues to the track “Outcome” which displays the group holding their own, killing the sick prodding beat and making sure that the energy from Part 1 hasn’t yet faded. Bringing that organic tribal sound is “Fate La” which is rooted in the origins of music and sound. Its elements are electrifying as well as hypnotic and addicting. Music is the weapon of the future!!! Midwest, Ohio emcee Blueprint (of Greenhouse Effect) makes a cameo appearance (only cameo on this LP) on “Here I Am”. The synergy between both Swamburger and Blueprint lyrically and with Alex trading her vocals skills between them is incredible. What I love is at the end of the track where their playful banter amongst one another is shown and only proves that they don’t take themselves too seriously (only their craft). Could the song “Total Reclaim” be a straight up complaint track? Listen and figure it out for yourself but remain open-minded cause it’s deeper than you expect. The interlude “Angry” is more than just an interlude; it’s unequivocally raw and lyrically heavy for those that like battle-type songs and lyrics.
At this point it’s halfway through Part 2 and I’ve yet to encounter any filler type tracks or any tracks that sound the same or fake or rushed. I’m also thinking about many of the tracks on Part 1 that I want to re-visit. If you’ve gotten this far by now, the message(s) are definitively clear. If the Trilogy can be summed up in one word, it would be the word LISTEN! Not to just HEAR, but to LISTEN, which is a word that’s repetitively and strategically used throughout the trilogy. We have a bad habit (as a human race) of hearing music and not Listening to it. A lot of that is a product of what we’re told to “listen” to and what to consume daily instead of putting our energy into what speaks to us individually. We’re afraid to go against the status quo and “The 4th Wall” vehemently opposes such a notion.
If you don’t really LISTEN to both parts, you’ll miss out on messages such as those of personal reflection, self-preservation, empowerment and maintaining solid relationships. In all, this double LP is supremely dope in so many ways I could write a book on it. It’s definitely a must buy but, don’t just buy the CD’s, buy the WHOLE experience (the whole Trilogy). It’s worth every dollar and second of your time. The double CD comes with ILL artwork and a book that breaks down the Trilogy along with lyrics making it a complete package. There are other products you can order to make your experience even ILLER!!! Please support Sol.Illaquists of Sound by copping the experience at: https://solilla.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/the4thwall
If you wanna taste (JUST A TASTE) of what they have to offer head here: http://solilla.bandcamp.com/album/the-4th-wall-part-1
***Shout-outs to those that contributed to this FRESH release and subsequent releases like X:144, Glenn Schick, Beef Wellington, Sean Kantrowitz, Fred Hampton, etc…***