Local hip-hop collective L.O.V.E. Culture is wasting no time in spreading their heady music with a lot of heart and skill. Last year the band released the full-length, Fluidity. Savvier Void readers that snatched up a copy of our local music compilation, Void on Vinyl (Vol. 1)got an exclusive hit of the band’s potent style with their contribution, “Light.” With their latest EP, VOL. 1, the band deftly displays why they call themselves the League of Vibrant Energies.

A spaced-out, wobbly synth riff sets the vibe for “Shade,” which honors the energy of that opening salvo with a continual misdemeanor-stoned-atmosphere. “O.J.” with its syncopated beat and looped flute conjures comparisons to UK trip-hop as well as rap and new soul. L.O.V.E. Culture step up the game with the cut “Sandals,” which features a recurring three-note Fender Rhodes keyboard lick, jazz smoothed out to the direction of a new horizon, positive vibes abound: “A lotta pain / lotta hurt / struggled in this life. / Gotta make it / gotta work / gotta make it right. / We was lookin’ for a glimmer / now we be the light.”  Along with founding members Rob Mari and Kyle Dorrell (aka Weighed Sailor), L.O.V.E. Culture features EASY, Flash the Samurai, Cheech Forreign, Goldsoul, Nostal, DeeT’Or Visions, and Larry Wakefield (aka DJ Larry Love). Until the rest of the world discovers the incredibly potent and talented North Florida hip-hop scene, we’ll just have to settle for the gifts of groups like L.O.V.E. Culture, who create masterful music, regardless of shallow trends, hyperbolic hype, or even “national” notice. The latter? All in due time.

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