Record Label / Licensing / Management
Escaping The Arcade
Onepacman is the boss of this slice of music, producing all 20 tracks himself and spitting for about 5 years, although previously he wrote a lot of lyrics as far back as 25 years ago. He loves the “pen is mightier than the sword” quote and tries to deliver that in rap although he’s not originally a rapper he feels he can MC and speak words fluently.
Album featuring: DJ Destruction, Ambre, DRNO1, Daisy Daze, Please Don’t Tell Bhudda, Fleur Whitfield, Jif, NJC, Voodoo Browne, Khan$hunz, Middle Aged Kid, The Rap Gimp and many more. Available as download and streaming with limited edition 7″ singles. We also have a short animated film being commissioned with Natty Art UK aka Nathaniel Goulbourne.
Release Date: 25/06/2021 (Spotify and Juno Exclusive)
RELEASES HIGH CONCEPT DEBUT ALBUM ‘ESCAPING THE ARCADE’
VIA AMBIEL MUSIC
OUT JUNE 25TH EXCLUSIVELY VIA SPOTIFY AND JUNO DOWNLOAD
FULL WORLDWIDE RELEASE FOLLOWS ON JULY 2ND
Producer and rapper Onepacman has been in the game for years, but the UK artist is yet to release an album. But that’s about to change in dramatic style when he drops his ambitious debut ‘Escaping The Arcade’ via Ambiel Music.
‘Escaping The Arcade’ is a project of remarkable scale, its blend of conscious, old-school hip-hop rhymes and trip-hop tinged production flair covering every mood from rallying political statements to light-hearted skits. Its narrative is deceptively simple, but its conceptual scope is vast: Onepacman is battling to escape a futuristic arcade that’s overruled by a malevolent AI. He’s accompanied in his mission by an AI of his own, a spiritual guide who is trying to guide him through a landscape plagued by late-stage capitalism, simulation theory, environmental destruction and mental health issues.
The album’s dystopian future acts as a metaphor for ordinary human experience. Just as Onepacman can only escape with his one ally, dealing with the challenges of day-to-day life is infinitely easier with the help of a loving partner. Back in the real world, Onepacman’s wife Ambre, who appears on several tracks, has changed his life. “She’s my rock,” he admits, as a smile beams from cheek-to-cheek. “She has pulled me through troubles with psychological health and addiction issues. Without her, I’d still be in that pit.”
It’s fitting, then, that Ambre’s own creativity kickstarted the concept. She loved his track ‘Guardians of Reality’ and one day surprised him by presenting her own lyrical take on its meaning. That was the spark for him to turn those words into the album’s key track ‘Rising Mother’.
“It’s about matriarchy and the structure of power,” she explains. “Societies were based on the idea that skills determine your position in society, and women’s skills were often based on organisation and social structure rather than hunting or protecting. It’s also about my deep personal and spiritual conviction. I was deeply fascinated by feminine archetypes, and what they represented for our ancestors. We can still learn from those wisdoms. Rationalism of society loses some of the magic of life, but if you observe the miracle of nature, everything around us is mind blowing.”
‘Rising Mother’ rejuvenated Onepacman’s inspiration, which was solidified when he watched the TV series ‘Wu-Tang: An American Saga’ and everything spiralled from there. “It was just meant to be a single at first, but it grew and grew,” he laughs. “I can’t even estimate how many man hours it took. After a year, it was nearly all there, but finalising all the details and getting everyone involved took another six months.”
The ‘Escaping The Arcade’ guest list features the most diverse set of collaborators imaginable. There are talents at the top of their game, such as DJ Destruction, who adds Cut Chemist-styled turntablism to tracks including ‘The All Alien Crew’. Similarly, DRNO1 and Voodoo Browne’s lyrical ability is undeniable, the former’s articulation and flow standing out on ‘Big Up Yourself’ and the latter bringing righteous fury with ‘Words Don’t Run Out Of Bullets’. Equally, there are newcomers: Ambre had never performed until Onepacman asked her to voice the AI on ‘The A In The Eye’ and neither had Please Don’t Tell Buddha, a yoga teacher who features on ‘Our Loyalty Lies With Spaceship Earth’.
Intriguingly, they’re all united by being people who have passed through Onepacman’s life. In the case of Heiko Khoo, the inspiring Speakers’ Corner veteran whose spoken word introduces ‘…Bullets’, he had actually first introduced Onepacman and Ambre. Onepacman’s production approach to each contributor reflects the positivity that the album exudes. Whether the artist was established or a total newcomer, his approach was to let people do what they want and want came naturally to them, and to foster an encouraging vibe.
Sonically, old school UK hip-hop is the main reference point, but Onepacman’s influences extend far beyond the genre. Further throwback echoes of Wu-Tang Clan, DJ Shadow, Mos Def and Massive Attack are present, but creative contemporary artists, notably FKA twigs and Princess Nokia, also feed into a rich tapestry of sounds. His appreciation of the current underground scene is also referenced through his admiration for Ocean Wisdom and Maze Overlay.
The world around ‘Escaping The Arcade’ will continue to be expanded in the near future. Onepacman has collaborated with the illustrator Natty Art UK to create a remarkable, cinematic animated video for its next single ‘The A In The Eye’. Almost entirely hand-drawn, the laboriously crafted comic strip sci-fi mini epic feels like a skilfully crafted yet DIY take on a mix of ‘Akira’, classic ‘2000 AD’ and the surrealist edge of Mark Gonzalez. There’s also a remix package for the single on the way, plus the promise of a book concept that Onepacman is currently developing.
It all adds up to a set of dazzling scope, and one which reflects the diverse passions and personality of its creator. “I can’t write a party track, that’s not what I do,” he signs off. “I had so many different ideas, from trippy stuff to political ideas to building a concept with comedy skits and the intro. I thought this was a good way and a cool concept to pull all of that together. It’s also a fresh way of trying to share ideas and information rather than just lecturing people, so it also works so well as a piece of art too.”
‘Escaping The Arcade’ tracklist:
- ‘Simulation Theory’ (featuring God)
- ‘The All Alien Crew’ (featuring NJC, Ambre, Fleur Whitfield and DJ Destruction)
- ‘The A In The Eye’ (featuring A.I.Ohm)
- ‘Rising Mother’ (featuring Ambre and Samsam)
- ‘So Deep Down’ (featuring Ambre)
- ‘Bass Is Life’ (featuring DRNO1, Dazey Daze, Ambre and DJ Destruction)
- ‘HEAVY: Bend Your Knees’ (featuring The Rap Gimp)
- ‘Surfing On Time Waves’ (featuring Snagga1)
- ‘Spaceman’s Riddim’ (featuring DRNO1 and DJ Destruction)
- ‘Big Up Yourself’ (featuring DRNO1)
- ‘If Chemistry Was King’
- ‘Our Loyalty Lies With Spaceship Earth’ (featuring Ambre, Please Don’t Tell Buddha, Jif and D4 Damager)
- ‘Genesis’ (featuring khan$hunz and DJ Destruction)
- ‘Double Dragons’ (featuring Middle Aged Kid)
- ‘The Paradigm Is Freedom’ (featuring Lowki)
- ‘On The Track Like Buddha Floating’
- ‘Words Don’t Run Out of Bullets’ (featuring Voodoo Browne and Heiko Khoo)
- ‘Chess Moves From Hell’
- ‘AI Defense Network Transmission’
- ‘The Transcendental Object At The End Of Time’ (featuring God)
Written by Ben Hopkins
Lottie O’Neill is the newest member of the Ambiel roster and will be releasing her debut album in 2021. Charlie, as she is known and is her birth name, has been recording and writing songs for over a decade and has already had a fruitful career elsewhere in the industry! We now start a brand new chapter with Charlie and we’re very pleased to have her as part of our roster moving forwards.
“Bringing fresh sounds with, soulful vocals and experimental vibes, Birmingham-based singer/songwriter, Lottie O’Neill is back on the scene with new music set for release in 2021.
Lottie is no stranger to the music scene after the success of her first EP, The Industry, released in 2011 alongside producer NJC Music and Austin Reynolds for Extreme Music (Sony/ATV Music Publishing), which was also signed in partnership with Hype Music. Lottie O’Neill has had her music featured on many popular TV Networks with music being featured on Netflix’s hit series Top Boy, Made in Chelsea, Eastenders and Ru Paul’s Drag Race, to name only a few.”
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