Album Review: Beat Tripping by Happy Headz

It’s always good to have something new and a little different to wrap my ears around and the new album Beat Tripping by Happy Headz certainly fits the bill there. Released on Nuke Fam Records, it is produced by someone you might be familiar with, one Haynesy. Beat Tripping is the follow up to the debut One Summer and I’ll drop a link to that below too.

My previous experience reviewing Haynesy’s work such as DopeBeat Biz Vol. 1 (2019) and his work alongside JD, Freedom of Speech (2020) and Truth Be Told (2021), has taught me that whatever he puts his mind to becomes a musical experience of the highest quality, with beats that are infectious and down-right dope. So, my thoughts are that this will be no exception, even if I’m not sure what’s coming, I know it’s gonna be pure fire.

Haynesy describes the album as a mix of retro dance, piano house, Hip Hop, electro, and chilled beats all in one package. Now I always enjoy a good challenge and so the idea of such a mixed bag of sounds really piqued my interest and that interest was piqued even more when I noted appearances from Jabbathakut, JD Guerrilla, Ryan Sanders, Scorzayzee, DJ Blend, Micky Swags, Wordsmiff Flip and Eskar (Nuke Fam Records). With a line-up like this alongside Haynesy I was eager to get my headphones on…

So, I’m not gonna keep you hanging around here, so join me on a trip through Beat Tripping…

Proceedings are started right with Dead Weight (Piano Mix) a booming house tune which put me in mind of the Chicago house sound which was big back in the eighties. The infectious beats, bass and that piano sound really gets you moving while the guest vocalist hits you with this story that seems to say that no matter how much you want someone, sometimes their behaviour just makes them a dead weight in your life. After that pulse raising start to the album a more chilled piano vibe takes us into Grow up and when the beat drops on this one you realise that the idea there would be some retro dance vibes here was not understated. Kicking up the BPM a bit it keeps the pulse racing and makes you wanna just keep moving. There are more vocals that help to grow that seed in your mind that parts of you just don’t want to grow up. Guitar vibes and strings guide you into the next track before the beat drops in and keeps you from wanting to kick back. Although this is a bit more chilled it still has your head nodding with it’s infectious sound and the vocals which speak directly at you, inviting you to look at yourself and enjoy yourself because You Are Enough. So, let the music into your soul and the ride that is your life.

That dance sound keeps going with bass, drums, and synth vibes but, Keep Shining has this electronic edge that seems to penetrate the very core of your being. As you listen to the vocals and feel that beat, you become aware that your body has unconsciously started moving and there is no stopping now and you can’t understand how you’re not boogying the night away in the club but, then maybe you are as another big bass sound hits with Nails Done Long. This has a more modern vibe or seems to but, before you know it there are some scratch elements thrown in and you’re suddenly pulled in different directions to different eras, or maybe that was just me? But, while I’m wondering what era I’ve been transported to another huge bass sound kicks in with a female emcee dropping some vocals all about one thing, Cash Money. The electronic sounds on this on push the limits of your mind while that big bass sound seems to impact and modify the beat of your own heart, making it beat in time with the bass sound of the track and pushing energy to new levels.

As the album is thirteen tracks long, we have just reached the pivot point of the album with The Place (Cuttin’ & Scratchin’ Mix) which features none other than one of the UK’s leading Hip Hop turntable maestros, Jabbathakut. The intro suggests this might be another house sound but, when the beat drops on this one you realise this is an instrumental Hip Hop banger that has you smiling ear to ear. The pounding drums, keys and heavy bass sound begin to push your adrenaline levels to the max but, the addition of Jabba on the cuts and a plethora of classic samples really push those adrenaline levels beyond their max levels. My advice, bounce, jump around and nod you head to this one and enjoy these five and half minutes of dopeness. Not sure what’s to come after that one, the bass hits and the BPM takes over with another huge club banger in Incy Rides Again (Riga Mix). This one has a sound that is almost techno but, has elements of the industrial sound and even Hip Hop cuts But, there is little doubt that by the end of this one whatever comes next is just gonna carry you on a euphoric energy you won’t wanna come down from. That sound that carries you on, is the massive DnB sound of Search Inside, which features JD and Ryan Sanders. Now, honestly DnB has never been my sound but, this one hits hard with some intelligent and anti-establishment vibes that encourage you to look inside yourself for the truth about what is really going on around you and the world at large.

From the pounding sound of DnB we are next transported in the electronic vibes of the Hip Hop Electro sound with A Random Sofa At 8am (Retro Electro Mix). This one perfectly captures that electro sound and brings in some classic samples, cut and scratched to create a sound that many of us older heads will be vibing with as the electro sound was part of what introduced us to the Hip Hop sound, in fact I remember sitting on random bas seats, random train seats, and car seats listening to this kind of music forty years ago. The Hip Hop sound continues with Love ‘em All, which features Scorzayzee on the mic. Pounding Hip Hop beats and heavy on the horns and not forgetting the cut n scratch, this one is a head nod banger that see’s Scorzayzee celebrate Hip Hop music and the art of making it. With some crafty wordplay, slick delivery, and some great tongue-in-cheek moments, this has the energy to keep that smile stretching broadly across your face. Chilled organ notes guide us into Say Something before the pounding bass beat is brutal and drops with the force of a 1000lb bomb. This one features Micky Swags, Wordsmiff Flip and Eskar (Nuke Fam Records) on the vocals with additional features from DJ Blend and Jabbathakut on the cuts, and is really all about he art of rapping and using words, similes and metaphors to bring your thoughts to reality and say something, no matter what it is. This track is a remix of the original Say Something single from DJ Blend and Micky Swags feat. Wordsmiff Flip and Eskar.

The album ends, or rather winds down, with the epic twenty plus minute Yoga Beatz (Blunts & Blaze Mix), which helps you float back to earth after spending all of what went before this moment, up in the stratosphere. There are elements of enigma, eastern flavours and sitar vibes that mix with a wealth of musical sounds to create this chillout, trip hop masterpiece that has the capability to take you wherever it is you want to go as you take a chill pill and drift off into a place of serenity courtesy of this musical meditative experience…

What a cracking album! I mean, there truly is something here for anyone and everyone to enjoy, and I don’t say that lightly.

What Happy Headz have done with Beat Tripping is to encapsulate the feel of a festival, club night or rave vibe, where there are multiple stages with a variety of musical genres all together in one place, for one night only. Then the album is finished off, as any good night is, with an extended chillout session that brings your energy back down to earth, before letting it drift off once more in a rather different fashion.

The production is truly a masterclass of multi-genre musical vibes that creates this energy that keeps you rooted in the present, while taking you back to days gone by but, that’s just from my standpoint as fifty something dude who has encountered more musical genres that you can shake a stick at. But the production on every track here perfectly captures the vibe of the musical genre it denotes. There is little more you say than that really. But, beyond that the flow of the album is like walking between stages or rooms and listening to a wealth of different music, while all the time keeping your energy levels raised up into the atmosphere. It also displays the wealth of influences that impact on us and how me might not vibe with a certain genre of music but, under the right conditions, the energy that music creates just draws us in and we can’t help but let it take control of us.

What you also see here is how, by picking the right guest artists to feature, it gives another depth, another element to something that is already, by all appearances, perfect as it is. These guests maybe unknown vocalists or more well-known artists, even those who have previously worked together but, all add their stamp, as a part of the Happy Headz Collective, in making this something truly special.

I must be honest here and say that there is little more I can say. The words kinda flowed so well as I wrote this and now, I just want to share it with all of you so, please give this one a listen and enjoy it as much as I have.

My humble thanks to Haynesy and Eskar of Nuke Fam Records for asking me to review this truly superb release.

Beat Tripping by Happy Headz is released through Nuke Fam Records.

On that note,

I’ll see you in the Stratosphere…

Steve, Infinite Sounds