Space­man

The Observer - The New Review - - Critics -

(Black But­ter)

Emerg­ing from the bur­geon­ing south London un­der­ground, Oc­ta­vian’s 2017 break­out track, Party Here, com­bined style and sub­stance. In­fus­ing grime with sin­grap ca­dences and trap sig­ni­fiers, the French-born Oliver Godji par­tied in the face of ad­ver­sity. Drake was swift with an en­dorse­ment. Since then, there’s been mount­ing hype and a great hook-up with Mura Masa, Move Me, em­pha­sis­ing Oc­ta­vian’s more dance­able side.

Space­man is Oc­ta­vian’s first ful­l­length project, piv­ot­ing the MC back to grime. Its lead track, Re­venge, makes the case that vengeance is a dish best served sul­lenly, with amped up State­side in­flu­ences. A litany of icy threats, Break That (ft Sus­pect) doesn’t ad­vance the genre much, but like much of this mix­tape it does re­mind his orig­i­nal fan­base that Oc­ta­vian is a threat as well as a he­do­nist street philoso­pher.

One of his most se­duc­tive char­ac­ter­is­tics is a mat­ter-of-fact bit­ter­sweet­ness; self-reliance and mummy is­sues loom large for a young man who left home at 14, as This Is My World at­tests. “Hap­pi­ness is an in­side job,” he muses on Build. The stand­out track here, Light­ning, is an­other wist­ful banger with a firm grip on the heart­strings; more of this sure touch would have shot Space­man higher. Kitty Em­pire

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