OK, for those not in the know, Joelistics (AKA Joel Ma, one quarter of Melbourne crew TZU) has been a constant on the homegrown hiphop front since 1999. After a three year break, which saw the end of a longterm relationship and the passing of a close friend, Joel Ma has returned with his second solo venture Blue Volume. Running like a good mix tape, bringing varied styles in spades, this LP is made special by its heart, its wit and Joel Ma’s ability to bring you into the fold whilst waxing lyrical about a whole range of issues from politics, to Asylum Seekers, addiction, love and love lost.
This album reminded me of why I began loving hip hop in the first place; it’s real, easy to relate to, and really grows on you with each passing listen. Say I’m Good and In The Morning are both killer anthems in their own right, but it’s tracks such as Out of the Blue, a simply beautiful track about redemption and love; and Nostromo, which is a haunting track about losing a friend to addiction that is sublimely taken to another place by the emotionally ragged vocals of the Smith Street Band’s Wil Wagner, that really kick it up a notch and make this album a truly outstanding take on modern day life.