During my years playing and attending shows in the Pittsburgh area, I’ve had the pleasure to see the best and worst the city has to offer in talent. Over the last five years, I’ve seen a consistency, and growth, in quality for what seems like cliques in the local industry, and a few names pop up over again.
One of those names popping up on Shows, collabs, and Myspace pages has been Amuck (or more appropriately, his old name of Enigma). I’ve heard bits of pieces, but only now have been able to take in a full work by this local rapper. When I caught wind of his latest album, Improbabilities, I was excited to see Sikes attached to it’s production, and the usual round of guests including Basick Sickness, Draztyk, and a slew of new names to me. Track wise, you can expect a variety of electronic pushes, mixed with guitars and pianos periodically, such as on “Unfettered Ones”, or something completely off the wall like on “Weirdo” or “Minus Two Chromosomes” that just comes off as an electronic epilepsy to your ears which may encourage a initial skip over at first, but make sense when you get a chance to see their angle.
A typical problem with underground music is a sense of repetition that keeps you from finding those diamonds in the rough through a release. Amuck circumvents that by having a great variety of styles represented here. The beats are tremendously distinctive, and the vocal delivery even alters from track to track. Choruses range from Rehab style melody to interesting effects plays that keep it fun. It was to a point that sometimes I wasn’t clear on whether I was hearing the album’s artist or one of his many guests on the first listen through. Amuck’s album is a great representation of the variety you can get if you dip into the Pittsburgh scene’s waters.
You can download the album, and his first album under Enigma, at Amuck’s Myspace page right now!