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Manchester Music: Dayse And Aver

Mark Jorgensen on the splinter group making moves on the Manchester hip-hop scene

Written by . Published on January 27th 2012.

Manchester Music: Dayse And Aver

IF you’ve been around and about Manchester over the last twelve months, it’s probably safe to say you’ve seen the above image on stickers decorating toilet cisterns, lamp posts, walls and parking meters all over the city.

The image - a grainy Chicago police mug shot of American radicalist Bernadine Dohrn –is the cover image of an EP from Manchester-based hip hop duo Dayse and Aver. It was used on promotional stickers that inadvertently became a familiar sight after fans took it upon themselves to begin sticking them up around the city.

Dayse’s lyrics offer a succinct - and sometimes stinging - social critique which is laden with cultural nuances, samples and references to literature

Comprising of MC Dayse and producer Aver, the pair also form a side project called TNC (The Natural Curriculum). They’ve been a consistent presence on Manchester’s hip hop scene over the past couple of years, building a name through regular shows and support slots for an array of top acts including the likes of Jehst, Jedi Mind Tricks and Jeru the Damaja.

The release, named EP 0001, is an eight track concept album which vividly chronicles a detailed vision of modern dystopia; providing a contextual indictment of the present day rather than a bleak foreboding of hypothetical Orwellian nightmares.

Dayse And AverDayse And Aver

Dayse’s lyrics offer a succinct - and sometimes stinging - social critique which is laden with cultural nuances, samples and references to literature that spans topics such as civil rights, social contract theory and the legitimisation of the use of violence. Additionally, the beats from Aver consistently provide the ideal backing to Dayse’s content, delivery and, more importantly, the overall diverse yet linear theme of the record. There is an acutely space-like feel throughout from the darkly jazz-infused ‘Human Zoo’, to the downright astral psychedelia of ‘22112010’.

The release of the record itself has been a touch more tempestuous than Dayse and Aver would have hoped. The original intended release almost a year ago was abruptly halted due to ongoing wrangling with YouTube policies, seriously hampering the planned online promotion and distribution of the record until this point.

With such wrangles finally sidestepped, the awaited promotion of the record, available for free digital download, can now gather momentum. This promotion is subsidised by the additional release of a limited edition private press on wax; an admirable nod to the traditional notion of a truly independently released rap record, an approach which often seems to have drifted into the doldrums of analogue abyss.

Despite the tribulations which have accompanied the initial dawning of the record, EP 0001 deserves the recognition as an excellently original and diverse release and is as impressive an independent hip hop debut as I’ve heard in a long while.

The fact that that the official video for ‘Human Zoo’ was filmed in guerilla style on a mobile phone camera despite the availability of SLRs - simply to retain the right raw and gravelly feel - offers the perfect insight into attitude and essence of what D&A are all about.

More releases are now anticipated for both D&A and as a collective with TNC. There is another video due to drop this month in conjunction with video production team The Hip Hop Half Hour.

With more local high profile support slots on the horizon, TNC hosting the latest installment of Will Not Be Televised which brings Wu Tang royalty GZA to Antwerp Mansion in Rusholme on Friday 27 January and D&A headline dates dotted around the country, Dayse and Aver are a hugely exciting local act who are ones to watch for 2012.

Both the wax and the free download are available here.

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