The Proforms

Get Ready

DongThongBo Music

3.5 stars

MC and producer Joe Harvey was the chief architect behind the now defunct Indy hip-hop group Twilight Sentinels. Harvey is back with a new project, The Proforms, and he's joined by a couple of Indy's most charismatic MCs, Ace One and Skittz, and backed by DJ Spoolz on turntable duties. The excellent "Get Ready" is The Proforms' first release, a digital-only single previewing their debut LP, Atavism.

The Twilight Sentinels never attempted to reinvent the wheels of steel. Instead, they were content exploring the jazzy, sample-based sound of early 90's hip-hop pioneered by groups like A Tribe Called Quest and Digable Planets. Proforms continues in that tradition, with both "Get Ready" and "Hold On" sounding indistinguishable from Harvey's vintage Sentinels productions.

The Proforms' MCs are not new to the industry; these guys have been floating around the Indy hip-hop scene for a few years. "Get Ready" acknowledges that while confronting detractors who suggest they should hang up their hip-hop aspirations.

The Proforms "Get Ready" by bdtb

"Some say I'm just a dreamer and I need to let it go, but I say hold on to precious things in life that you love," Harvey quips, while Ace One declares that hip-hop is "still the occupation we're chasing/never gave in/come hell or high water/we'll make it/get ready." Ace is a veteran of several Indy hip-hop groups, but he's never sounded better or more confident than he does here with Proforms.

The B-Side finds Harvey working a dubbed-out reggae sample to great effect, while the trio trades verses optimistically urging listeners to "Hold On."

The Proforms "Hold On" by bdtb

Temporarily available as a free download through the group's Soundcloud page, "Get Ready" comes highly recommended. Grab the free download while you can, and watch out for the LP scheduled for release on October 25th.

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Kyle Long pens A Cultural Manifesto for NUVO Newsweekly and in 2014 began broadcasting a version of his column on WFYI.

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