Felix and Louie Pastel of LA-based rap duo Paris Texas met each other in community college in 2013 and basically been creating tracks for a decade. But they haven't put out tons of music to see what happens, kind of like throwing some tasty pasta at a wall to see what sticks. Paris Texas is picky about they put out because they care how tracks come together. Thankfully, after almost a decade without a full-length record, Paris Texas' Mid Air is nearly everything you want it to be.
Labels can be restrictive, of course. Calling Paris Texas rap might give one the impression that they stick to a relatively base hip-hop sound. This could not be further from the facts, though. Even the word "creative" might be limiting to the duo.
Paris Texas take pieces of music, and mold them into some odd mix of Linkin Park and OutKast. But while there is definitely a heavy rock/punk influence to some of the music on the tracks, the overall sound is more organic than, "Hey, we've got this rap song, but let's force some guitar onto it." If Run-DMC's "King of Rock" had a grandchild, the track would be Paris Texas' "Earth-2;" All grown up and ready to play.
Paris Texas' Mid Air is as good of a debut album as you will hear this summer
The production of Mid Air is perfection. Tracks burst with energy but mesh with the words in an extremely well-crafted way. You can tell Louie and Felix spent pain-staking hours in the studio getting the mix just right, but not because they wanted to sell millions of records. They clearly just wanted to make a great album.
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There are so many gems on the record that you will need to decide on your own once you are playing the album on high rotation. But just to tease, the speed of "Everybody's Safe Until..."'s drum beat plays under a uniquely truthful and vulnerable bed of words that include the line, "There's people tryna kill me, other than me." "Closed Caption" sounds like warped Curtis Mayfield but with extreme clarity to the theme of the lyrics.
Mid Air is ambitious, but never out of control for its makers. There is polish, but intentionally not too much shine. Once you are finished reading this article, you should go and buy this record and listen to it through the weekend.
Rating: 9 out of 10