Review: Sukli by Gloc-9

Sukli by Gloc-9“Socially relevant” is not, I think, the best way to describe Gloc-9. It’s an easy adjective, and it hides the most important quality of his best tracks: a way with delivery, with composition, that strikes at the heart of what in ordinary hands is just a story about a man from the streets. Sukli, his latest record, unfortunately falls short. To be fair, it seemed to aim big: I got the impression, from the opening tracks, that it would tell one story, or at least a series of loosely-connected narratives. It may have, but the impact – the whole narrative – is blunted by the decision to go long in the middle third of the record. “Industriya”, “Sagwan” and “Kalye” run for an average of six minutes, and while it pushes the record forward, misguided attempts at giving it more gravitas results in something heavy and overbearing. There are still high points – the length of “Industriya” actually works in its favor; Mayonnaise’s Monty Macalino is understated on “Sagwan”; and the alternate version of “Sukli” gets a boost from Miro Valera’s distinct vocal – but it doesn’t salvage the thing completely. Gloc-9 works best when left to his own devices – that way, he’s less constrained. Maybe not in this one. [NB]3/5

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