It is difficult to say if Hasan Robinson (aka Autolect/Bil Basmala) had any idea about the revolutionary music he would be gifting to the world only a few years later. Or perhaps the visionary in him had always known that he would push the known boundaries of hip-hop and construct a bridge that would traverse the musical evolution of many years within the span of a few minutes, a single track or a passionate collection. That is exactly what this independent recording artist has been doing ever since his emergence in the west- coast underground hip-hop scene in 1998 with an LA produced Record Usephasan- Chemistry Teraqueous (Pomo & Amani Smith).

Producer-rapper Hasan Robinson is being hailed as the architect of neo- visionary soul music. His creations speak volumes about his unique attitude towards his art, positioning him as the very embodiment of the spirit of breaking away, breaking free. For, not only does his meta- physical approach seek to redefine all known definitions and genres of music, he himself is the overreacher trying to reconceive the notion
and the traditional functions of an emcee or producer. Like his music his is the unconventional genius, his vision teetering on the borders of the extraordinary and the novel. Bil Basmala and Eastern Department’s soulful ambiance is a layered combi- nation of classic hip-hop drums with abstract and alternative rap lyrics. Quirky drums, deep baselines and intense thick atmospheric textures cover each track. The rhythm driven studio recordings are complemented by harmonious vocals and lyrics based on social commentary and individual enlightenment. Originally conceived or envisioned by Hasan as an eclectic blend, neo-visionary soul takes the electronic, chill-out or left field genre into a completely new sphere. Accompanied by com- plimentary visuals from Basmala, neo-visionary soul is a promising addition to the left field, electronic and hip-hop genre. To the listen- ers it promises a new, hitherto unknown bliss or an awakening of the soul. To quote the artist himself, “Since around 2009, I have been experimenting with this sound.

I called it dubeclectric then. I wasn’t interested in reaching a wider audience at the time and it is not guar- anteed now. Instead, I am content with putting out records in a classic format. It’s kind of difficult without that in your face, big label machine pumping out your music. Yet, there is something to say about personal ex- pression. Bil Basmala offers that with a solid intention and focus on other things outside of the self. That univer- sal and unseen force influences what I am able to re-create.”

Tania B

Article Appeared in fUNCTIONAL No. 01 Spring 2013