Blxck Cxsper
lower files vol. 1 EP

lower files vol.1 is a meditative and introspective mix that showcases Blxck Cxsper’s musical versatility and emotional depth.

Appending any title with vol. 1 or pt. 1 doesn’t necessarily imply that there’s going to be additional editions in the series, but I hope there’s much more to come in the case of Montreal-based MC and producer Blxck Cxsper’s EP lower files vol.1. Blxck Cxsper (aka Kyng Rose, founder of Trans Trenderz, the nonprofit record label for trans artists on which they release their music)  described the EP as the perfect soundtrack for driving along the coast “as the sun goes down (or comes up *hint hint*).” Though the super chill vibe is well suited for just such a trip, Cxsper’s selling their music short: lower files vol.1 is a meditative and introspective mix that showcases genuine musical versatility and emotional depth.

If you’ve ever found yourself in a Los Angeles traffic jam, you know that it’s often not anything like the mellow flow of opener “LA Traffic”, but Blxck Cxsper captures the exhilarating feeling of freedom when you’re able to break away from the bumper-to-bumper grind and start cruising along the Pacific Coast Highway. Except that they’re not talking about literally being stuck in LA traffic, but being “a creature of habit / Feeling stuck in my life,” because “Amongst all of my haters, I am the worst I know / And I be rage driving, / Look around I see everybody’s moving / While I’m here at a standstill.”  The juxtaposition of such self-reflective lyrics and sun-kissed, worry-free beats is the perfect musical representation of what it’s like to constantly second-guess your instincts. It’s a rut that I’ve frequently found myself in during the pandemic, and I take solace in knowing that I’m not the only one; like Cxsper, I also “Just wanna get to where I’m going / I know that Imma die but after that I wanna keep on living.”

“Sea Of Light” turns the tables slightly, finding Blxck Cxsper breaking through a creative funk thanks to their muse. It’s a sexy, sultry, slow-burning ballad that folds into “All Around The World”, another low-key but no-less engaging examination of loneliness in an age of social media fame and influence. Like the musical equivalent of a TV show cliff-hanger, “When The Sun Comes Up” (featuring Graffitti Notez SP) closes the EP out by taking us back out on the road, “wide awake but feeling like (we’re) dreaming,” hungry for more missives from Blxck Cxsper’s lower files. On the EP’s Bandcamp page, Cxsper suggests that anything is possible for the next installment (“The next EP might be an acoustic one for all you know”), but as long as subsequent editions feel as emotive and deep as lower files vol.1, it won’t matter what it sounds like; I’ll go on a drive with Blxck Cxsper anywhere, anytime.

Julie Arsenault
Whisper & Shimmer I: “The Creature That I Call Myself (Extended Edition)”