Fredericton hip hop trio Reset spent the past year writing, recording and learning how to produce their own music, a discipline that helped spawn their impressive five-track debut.
It’s been a weird year. Actually, things have been weird for over a year now haven’t they? Ever since you-know-what arrived back in March of 2020, the usual creative activities that help shape city life – everything from live shows to gallery openings and exhibitions – have been in a weird state of limbo, dotted by occasional bursts of familiarity. Live streamed this and socially distanced that have become the norm. And while all of these modified activities have helped us feel somewhat connected to the various aspects of local culture we rely on to feel alive and part of our communities, a lot artists chose to simply wait it out, using the downtime to hone their craft, to write and to create free from expectations or deadlines of any kind.
As we near the end of our collective isolation and the gradual return of life as we once knew it (or some version of such), our patience is now being rewarded in the form of new music – new albums and EPs – created during The Great Quar.
The debut album from the Fredericton hip-hop trio Reset is a great example. Given ample time to come together at a natural pace, EP1SODE is an excellent introduction to this new trio and the underground hip hop community that helped make this recording possible.
Between assignments and exams, three international students from the University of New Brunswick made the most of their free time writing, rapping and recording songs for the group they started sometime back in 2019. As Reset, their debut, EP1SODE, is a remarkably polished five song collection that speaks volumes about what has been going on behind the scenes these past several months – work, and lots of it.
“Quarantine really forced us to learn and level up,” said Gabriel Ibarra, a native of Honduras, who formed Reset in Fredericton with friends David Williams from Nigeria and Emmanuel Mate-Kodjo from Ghana.
“We’ve been making music for around two years, but we’ve been producing for around a year. This EP is basically the culmination of our work and progress throughout this past year,” he said.
Working between bedroom recordings and Renegade Sound Studios, a downtown Fredericton recording studio that has been churning out a staggering number of singles and EPs from a wealth of new rappers and singers over the past year, Williams and his bandmates channelled their positivity and newfound production skills into making this EP a reality.
“We tend to write about things that are going on in our lives, or about feelings that we have at the moment of hearing a beat,” said Williams. “We also enjoy writing about idealized conditions and lifestyles. The opening track, Traffic, was heavily inspired by quarantine boredom and the freedom we used to have before the pandemic.”
Reset has a video in the works and plans to perform live later this year once all three members are back in the city. In the meantime, check out their debut.