Ransom’s wavey new project ‘Reenergise’ is a project focused on coming back strong in the Grime scene, and coming to take the throne to be called ‘King of the North’. It’s a bold claim and a bold project. The vibe is just enough different, that it grabs your attention from the off. With lots of grime sounding similar lately, this is the refreshing creativity we all didn’t know we needed!
Ransom is a 23-year-old Grime artist from Aberdeen, his previous accolades include his E.P. ‘Sounds of the North’, his appearance at the Eskimo Dance, in Glasgow, Supporting Wu Tang’s Ghostface Killah, as well as Skepta, and having features on Risky Roadz and SB TV.
Ransom has collected a long list of producers for the project from both Scotland and England, including names like Boy Panda, HR6, Stax, Eldar Q, Sean Focus, MKThePlug, Finn Wigan, Kronzy, DJ London & Polonis, to help brings his vision to life.He also features several artists, too.
This is a broadly creative project that shows Ransom F.A is indeed full of energy and is certainly coming for that crown, if he keeps it up, he could well become King of the North, as he wishes.
Track 1. Energy Zone, Feat. Oakzy B
The production on this one starts light and skippy, with a kick, hi-hats, a cowbell or triangle and a light synth melody, plus a scratch synth in the background. A few bars in and we get patterned kicks and snares, then as Ransom’s bars start, a dark heavy bass line comes in, with the same sort of quality as Ransom’s voice, and they weave in and out of one another.Ransom spits in a low flow, his voice having a deep bass quality to it, and lets us all know that he’s on another level, energy wise ‘Got my energy zone, I been networking while you been at home/Tryna be King of the North, like I killed Jon Snow’. The style of his voice brings a certain vibe in itself. Oakzy B’s feature is spat in a higher faster flow, by comparison ‘and brings a hype up tempo energy, as if to confirm that’s what Ransom wants around him, mandem who are on the wave.
Track 2. Say Too Much, Feat. Poczy
The production on this comes in with a choir synth and only a dark continuous bass line, then we hear Ransom say ‘Listen’ and everything else kicks in, kicks, snares, and hi-hats dark, busy and hard, and the bass line breaks up a little to provide room for Ransom.The tune is about not being drawn out by other artists, where Ransom projects into a future where his past comments could come back to bite him. These times this is happening left and right, so Ransom has his finger on the pulse of the culture. The heavy refrain expresses the subject well ‘Dont say too much, don’t say too much/One day I’m gonna get paid too much/Everything you say can be used against you/So I told my bro don’t say too much’.The feature is a great contrast with a fully Scottish flow, which works brilliantly on Grime as it turns out, as Poczy claims himself ‘Danae come hard, but I sound it, aye?’, sounds wicked!
Track 3. The life
This tune starts out really light, and full of droplet like sounds, muffled bass, some light percussion, and then a soft heavy bass line, when Ransom comes in we get a full drum pattern, and lots of adlibs. The vibe of this tune is definitely a busy one, which follows the topic of Ransom really working hard to make something of himself, and to find out about life and the world. The patterning in his flows match up to the energetic approach he’s trying to express ‘round here it’s survival of the fittest/so I put in work like a gymnast/yeah I’m really tryna flip it/me and you are no different/difference is I run with my visions’. A different one still, really creative and vibey.
Track 4. Vibing, Feat. Paque
This riddim kicks of with 2 different vocal synths, a keyboard providing melody, and then comes in again with heavy bass as the keyboard goes off-key as the bars drop, where the kick, snares, hi-hats and symbol like sounds come in. The track is about not having your vibe killed, just wanting to be the best, and mandem making way for that. Paque starts the main verse, with a heavy, low flow that compliments Ransom’s well ‘you not that cool, you not that hot/all my niggas on the block’, and Ransom provides the refrain and the second verse, which is full of clever wordplay, ‘watch a man get demolished/Ransom take no hostage’, etc. A dark, but vibey riddim, still. Ransom comes from outside the box, very interesting.
Track 5. Don’t Do That, Feat. Sherlock & Chrissey Grimez
The production on this starts with a really light and skippy computer sounding melody, which changes about 4 bars in to become much darker, with a heavy kick, bass line and busy drum patterns, a testament to OG Grime styling. Ransom spits dark and heavy himself, as if to emulate the serious nature of the topic, to him, making it all the way to the top, and not being sidetracked by getting drawn out and wasting his energy on mandem who want him to fail: ‘mention my name trying to draw me out to react, but I don’t do that/ I remember feeling low but on the way up you have to go through that/on the front line and I swear I’ll never let anything hold me back/don’t do that, ay ay, don’t do that ay ay’.The features, echo the sentiment ‘you don’t want to try it with us mate’, and ‘don’t dare take a swing at your man/don’t dare take a swing at a king/coz a king is good with his hands’. Fully vibey production and flows. Scottish Grime is the wave, King of the North not a reach.
Track 6. Heavy, Feat, Saam
The production on this one matches the title. Starting with light water-like sounds and a skippy bass line, it quickly becomes heavy itself, with a dark bass line and heavy kick and snares and continuous busily patterned hi-hats. Occasionally in the track, most of the music drops out to just the vocal synth sounds which come in and out, and water like melodies, to frame the heavier bars ‘not the guy you’re defeating, reincreasing, yeah I do what I do for my region’, etc. The feature comes just as heavy ‘coz it all get heavy I couldn’t be readier/they envious, I go so excellent, I’m steadier/spit so effortless, the flow got deadlier, ain’t that evident’. A track that lives right up to its title.
Track 7. Power, Feat Gidd Gamz
This one comes strongly from the start, with a heavy bass line and a vocal sample, that sounds like it comes from a Japanese style film. It’s a big production and it has a polished feel to it, with a distinctly Japanese edge, referenced by the percussive and wind instrument choices, as well as the many Japanese references to strength and power in the bars, which Ransom uses to express how he approaches being an MC. The refrain is full of wordplay and Japanese references ‘I touch down with exceptional power, shaolin power, iron power/flows like I trained with monks for hours/if it’s typical war, my flow devours...’. A cleverly, differently creative tune, that sets Ransom apart. The feature complements the tune well, but with a different style, more skippy, which follows the riddim really well. This one is a jam.
Track 8. Ready, Feat, Sean Focus
This is a tune about going out and is a vibier one, still. Sean Focus kicking it off with the refrain. The production is a wave, with skippy drum patterns and a heavy kick, light melodies and a deep bass line, which compliments and weaves in and out of Sean’s refrain, ‘Can you feel it tonight yeah yeah/ the vibe got me feeling alright yeah yeah/ I need a drink in my cup right now/ I think I’m ready to party yeah/ I think I’m ready to party yeah’, and Ransom’s bars ‘might come through with some Afro dons, or might come through with my tartan army/the style I bring is too gnarly them man out of style, like Ed Hardy’. A party track for the mandem on their way out, for real.
Track 9. Make It Through, Feat. SWVN
This is a tune that deals with a potentially sensitive topic, of being depressed, but trying to keep going, and the melodies in the production reflect that, with a slower feel. However, we find ourselves feeling ‘reenergised’, still, come the end of the riddim, which is no mean feat, and a testament to the album’s title. An inclusive track, the production almost feels comforting, with a low thumping bass line similar to a heartbeat, gentle deep kicks, and simple snares and hi-hats with gently sung back up style adlibs. The bars match the tone well, with the refrain ‘this is for my people feeling low, I felt that too, yeah/this is for my people feeling high, I felt that too, yeah/this is for everyone out there tryna make it through, yeah/we’ll make it, we’ll make it, we’ll make it’. SWVN Follows the theme with ‘caught on the negative, I got the sedative, always ahead of the wave....too strong to sink in the rain, and it’s been too long just to think of the pain’. This is a well-timed song, with the current climate of male suicide rates, and mental health issues, etc., you feel better, having heard it.
Track 10. Infinity & Beyond
This is a brilliant track to end on, which brings you straight back to the overall theme of the album, coming ‘Reenergised’ for the throne! The production is a madness, starting with a heavy bass line, vocal and barking adlibs, which then kicks in with a heavy kick and fully patterned snares and hi-hats, alongside upbeat bars from Ransom. Occasionally the track drops out to just a marching drum pattern and the melody, which builds and builds in hype as Ransom spits the vibey refrain ‘don’t know how far I’ll go, you might know where I’m from/I played this for a couple people it’s their favourite song/and if you’re out here tryna get it, you can sing along/don’t know how far I’ll take it, don’t know how far I’ll take it’, the second time he spits it, there being a rousing kick pattern and a computer synth, increasing in pitch as he spits ‘To infinity and beyond x 3/they like my style they like my ambience/tryna turn the boy into a champion/ no they can never stop that happening’. Later in the track it drops out to just the bass line and Ransom sing/spits ‘well well well well well, I don’t wanna lose my mind/ I been on this ting fae time, tried to make me wait in line/make time, I get what’s mine, oh it’s payback time’, another reference to coming for the crown and surpassing all that have gone before him, a warning....watch the throne!
This project lives up to its claims, and it’s different enough to make Ransom stand apart from the crowd. This Donny clearly has bags of potential creatively, and the whole thing leaves you feeling you best be watching for the next moves, for real.