Bay Area Goodies: Mavrik


Walk Around It (feat. DJ Platurn of The Oakland Faders) Download
This Music (feat. Bishlam Bullock) Download
from About Face (2007, Skoman Productions)
Buy at RealNetworks / Rhapsody

Mavrik distills the essence of hip hop through both banging beats and realistic lyrics. The duo, comprised of Loren “Tallswest” Tolman and Yohannes Skoda, bridges together diverse influences that include not only the rich tradition of Bay Area hip hop, but also those of the East Coast, Kenya and India. Combining for well over a decade worth of experience in the culture and lifestyle of hip-hop, influences include: A Tribe Called Quest, Dr. Dre, Digital Underground, Rakim, Nas, Wu Tang, E-40, Al Green and Marvin Gaye to name a few. Mavrik has performed alongside The Crown City Rockers, Lunar Heights, Ill Adapted, Feenom Circle, Felonious, Shotgun Wedding Quintet, Digital Underground, The Gift of Gab, International Loose Cannons, Stymie and the Pimp Jones Luv Orchestra, The Wylde Bunch and Raw Deluxe. The music uses both beats and the negative space around beats, creating a unique sound that stretches the musical boundaries of hip hop. The lyrics reflect the varied experiences of both artists, making Mavrik universal in sound and story.

In a time where more and more people are seeking truth and honesty along with skill and ability, Mavrik’s first full-length album, About Face, musically meets these needs. About Face is a cohesive album that gives a fresh perspective on today’s hip hop landscape, applicable to its listeners every day life. Mavrik’s raw nature proves that authentic art also makes the best art. The cinematic album demonstrates the duo’s ability to touch their listeners – to make them move, both internally and externally. While some songs, such as “Here We Go,” both humorize and humanize the every day challenges people face, other songs, like “Surrender feat. The Gift of Gab (Blackalicious) and Jennifer Johns,” carry the listener through a dark schizophrenic journey that leads ultimately to the realization of hope. Throughout About Face, Mavrik invites people both identify and find new meaning within themselves, sparking new light on the darkness while accentuating the positive aspects of life – and never misses a beat.

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