Battersea’s finest emcee looks to tell you his story on debut EP Smile Soundsystem
South London, and its multicultural community, has cultivated one of the most exciting music scenes our country has to offer. Twisting genres that have defined our capital for decades, their creative community are looking at the past to dictate the future - Smile Soundsystem, with its breaks and bass, is no different.
Despite a successful run of singles, including the triumphant Culture For 17’, this is Louis Culture’s debut EP. He is a well respected member of South London’s scene, founding Elevation Meditation with: Lord Apex, Finn Foxell and P-Rallel (to name a few). You may even find his face familiar from Aries’ lookbooks.
Smile Soundsystem is a sonic representation of the life Culture has lived thus far. Merging classic U.K. club sounds, courtesy of Pablo Pullen, with dexterous lyricism, the EP flows like a DJ set - making the 26 minutes a very hypnotic listen. First Date, with Poppy Billingham of the band Sunken, eases you in with whirring breakbeats and a contagious hook - harmonised by both artists. Part 2 proceeds with its Garage tones and piercing bass - Culture hops on effortlessly, providing lyrics packed with social realism.
Both Song 2 and Being Me were teased before the project’s release and came accompanied with mad visuals, which we recommend you hit play on. The latter exonerates Smile Soundsytem’s narrative more than any other track. Louis Culture spits about his hatred for preconceptions whilst reflecting on the accomplishments that have helped him to overcome them. A ferocious 2-Step beat drives his charged flow for one of the more visceral cuts.
Hanah, a loyal friend of Culture that he describes as a “young Björk”, features on the house infused Hannah Says High. The tune's contemplative bars, “Tokin’ on the plant, I’ve been hoping with my scars”, again demonstrates his poetic versatility. The instrumental then crescendos into a lucid trap beat, before rolling into 21, which is probably our favourite track out of the 7.
Britannia has some of the funniest and most vulnerable lyricism on the EP. One verse sees the artist rapping about inviting girls over to his free yard, and asking his mates if they have any jonnies. The proceeding rhymes see Culture opening up about his childhood and being raised by a single mother. Master Peace offers his signature howl for a contagious hook, referencing Noel Gallagher and rappers who aren't in his calibre.
The EP plays out in a soulful manor, with Noel Mckoy contributing his scintillating vocals to FredWave, KiLLOWEN and Pullen's chopped up hiphop and house fusion. Through the grape vine, we have heard Louis Culture and Vegyn have a project in the works, so Smile Soundsystem really is just the start for one of South London's brightest voices.
Written by Liam Cattermole