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“Cosmic Gospel” is how the group describes their intermittently patterned sound comprised of electrifying vocals, synthesized riffs and heavy boombastic beats.   Actually, it’s more like “cosmic hop”, a blend of soulful sounds infused with hip hop.  Black Diamonds,  the debut EP from Stono Echo is a selection of deeply submerged, raw emotions and insight.  From the Full Plate camp who brought you Dillon, Paten Locke, Willie Evans Jr., and Batsauce, Stono Echo is a duo that classifies distinction.  With harmonies and melodies reminiscent of Spacek, TV On the Radio, and even the funky unpredictability of Electric Wire Hustle and Thom Yorke, Stono Echo sets themselves apart by escaping the conventional maze of soulful hip hop and designing their own wild spiritual journey to cool.

Without the use of suggestive comparisons, P and J’s sound can be described as pure roots culture.  There is a slight gospel tone that adds to the mystic of their influences.  Jazz is a apparently invited, as so hip hop, electro, rock and soul, however they manage to achieve a sonic balance that justifies the distance between their competitive sound and use of samples.  Paired with integrated messaging and socio-economic commentary, tracks such as “Workin” and the scatty, upbeat bossa-styled “Politrickin”, weave a dynamic wave that causes you to pay attention.  It’s the title track “Black Diamonds” that smacks the dome and lifts you up.  Listening transports you, makes you feel like you’re riding a cosmic rollercoaster through space, time and black lives matter.   “SoapBox” put me in the mind state of a classic street evangelist.  Better yet, the preacher from Ralph Bakshi’s “Streetfight” aka “Coonskin”.  The familiar tone made me double check to see if N.E.R.D. was featured on the record.  Stop playin!  Hip hop is in full force.  I kept this EP on repeat for weeks.  Black Diamonds is church. Go and get you some. (And…it’s available on limited edition vinyl!)

Jacksonville, Florida-based soul/hip-hop duo Stono Echo presents their EP Black Diamonds. The duo is comprised of producer/DJ Paten Locke on the beats and scratches + multi-instrumentalist & composer and Jay Myztroh on vocals & accompaniments. Their last release was the 2016 single Politrickin. Paten also collaborates extensively with Edan, as well as Dillon Maurer, who is also Paten’s partner at Full Plate, their imprint and the label behind Black Diamonds. The self-proclaimed ‘cosmic gospel’ duo’s name references the 1739 Stono Rebellion.


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