Daemang Productions (DMP): Baraji
By Gareth Shute
DMP is a crew of Korean rappers from Auckland, led by Josh 'Daemang' Jang. He is joined by three brothers: Joe-Wuk 'Blasto' Shin, Jae-Min 'Fassnukuh' Shin, and Jae-Ho 'Microdot' Shin (the latter is yet to reach his teens). After regular shows at Auckland's Kiss Bar, the crew have developed a free-flowing rap style, which is especially apparent when they are rapping in Korean. Their confident rhymes are complimented on this album by singer, Jieun 'Zoyu' Kim. On one track, the group are joined by 4th Element who share the same label, 833 Records. The album also features the beat-making skills of Rob Lundon, who previously worked with Tyna and Emcee Lucia. The result is a slick set of tracks, which draw strongly on the contemporary US rap scene, with heavy beats offset by samples of strings and keyboard loops. The fact that much of this album was in a language I couldn't personally understand makes a thorough critique of it difficult, though it is certainly worth a listen if you are a hip hop fan with a desire to hear local product that is fresh and well-produced.