Mic Sol and Ace One were active in local hip-hop (both independently and in collaboration) long before I moved to this city. After building a reputation via energetic and passionate live performances, the duo took a shot at capturing that live dynamism on their debut record, The Light, released this June.
The first listen to my recently-acquired copy of The Light was an eager one, but the second and third times through (after days of rest between each) were forced. The Light offers a generous 17 tracks, yet not a single one has breakout potential.
The beats, handpicked by Mic for their potential to “pop live”, are mediocre. A vintage 70’s soul sound dominates the disc and Indianapolis references (including mentions of Broad Ripple Village, Post Road, and Keystone Avenue) provides some feeling of comfort to local listeners. Unfortunately, the generic and repetitive beats become annoying before each song hits its midpoint. Ace’s rugged and raspy voice adds texture to the tracks, and his articulation is distinctive and superb, but both Ace and Mic sing and rap in a monotone that lacks excitement and rarely betrays emotion.
No disrespect to either artist - I’ve witnessed extremely moving spoken word performances by Ace and heard great things about the duo from esteemed figures in Indianapolis hip-hop. Perhaps that’s why I was so let down by The Light. I expected catchy tunes and colorful vocals but instead found uninteresting melodies and apathetic vibes.
Not yet ready to give up on the duo, I plan to catch their set next Wednesday at a new weekly event hosted by Indianapolis-based record label Audio Recon. Come see them live at Locals Only for "Recon Wednesday" and make the final call for yourself.