Ultra_eko is a lyrical and raw emcee from Croydon in South London who recently dropped a new album called On Trial – Part One. It’s best described as a shape-shifting mission statement, with each track revealing a different side to the rapper who stitches everything together with a dark lyrical thread and a wicked way with words.

Things come to a head with his snarling delivery on the ferocious closing track, a bleak look at the ‘Black Dog’ on his shoulder. But the power of the album lies in the contrast between this song and the one before, the thought-provoking single ‘Two Point Four’ – tackling the “death of the modern-day family”, Ultra_eko raps melodically over an exhilarating Weeknd-style electro-pop beat right from the opposite end of the spectrum.

Ultra_eko said “what you hear is my heart and soul; I live and breathe this, and I give it my all; so I hope people enjoy the work.

Between these extremes, Ultra_eko repeatedly takes the path less travelled with his vocals, relaxing into a soulful flow on ‘The Trial’ then skipping through off-kilter bars with his mind “more twisted than a double helix” on the scarily-relevant ‘Variant’. The MC does the track title justice with a threatening tone on the swaggering ‘Malevolent’, just after butting heads with autotuned vocals over a greasy beat on ’21st Century’, another demonstration of Subsequel’s formidable production muscle.

Ultra_eko eats, sleeps and breathes outside the box and that’s exactly where the first half of his ambitious two-part project plants its black flag – Part Two lands later this year, be ready.

Stream the album Via Spotify below or elsewhere here