Auckland hip-hop native Adam Tukiri (formerly Dharmarat) follows up HARIRŪ with the melancholic, therapeutic, self-produced 10-track album Unless… Surely.
Tukiri delves into personal introspections with prose lyrics that command close listening, stringing words together to create oddly balanced flows. Unless… Surely takes full advantage of his introspection as a spry means to wrestle with weighty subjects.
Tukiri shifts from braggadocio into a more reflective space, an uncommon trait in NZ hip-hop. After the first few tracks, Tukiri moves toward a more insightful structure regarding his son, wanting to “be a hero to him” and being grateful for his family. “The whānau in arms reach, thought I’d end up single pops raising this boy with no lessons that only moms teach.”
Highlights include ‘It replenishes’ and ‘Safe travels’. Tukiri flexes his production skills on these tracks. Stylistically, Tukiri draws inspiration from artists such as Tom Scott and Madlib. Sonically, the production is lo-fi and haunting. Drums are sparse, giving the perfect foundation for Adam to lay his lyrics.
In the end, Unless… Surely proves to be a personally therapeutic and forceful performance from the Auckland native and one of the most sonically different albums you’ll hear from a local artist.