HIGHLIFE is High Noon's debut album released on January 5, 2015. The entire body of work has been produced and written solely by the pair 'Semantic One' and 'Prolifik The Gifted'. The complete album is undoubtedly the pairs best work to date as it was written and recorded organically over a period of 3 years.
The Sydney duo have built a foundation and grown immensely since their first release in 2009 and have gained a glowing reputation, Sydney wide, for their intricately layered production and powerful live shows. After maturing and consciously acknowledging the changes in their music passions, the pair withheld the pressures of releasing their album straight off the back of their 2012 Mixtape ‘Boom In Your Room 2”. The waiting or ‘breathing process’ as referred to by the bands primary MC and beat maker, Ryan Bennett (Semantic Uno), ‘..gave us a chance to really reflect on what we were building’.
Bennett constantly refers to the music on the ‘HIGHLIFE’ as the ‘tale and collection of therapy for his survival.’ He explains that ‘HIGHLIFE is really the beginning for us and the back story of our journey. We’ve gone from 2 young rappers/beat makers to 2 musically skilled artists. I’ve personally learnt more about myself over the past 5 years making music then I learnt at primary school, high school and university combined. I really feel like that’s reflected in our music and this album in particular.”
The album itself, consisting of 13 complete tracks tells the full story of 2 hard working artists who have shared a common love for music and dislike of the music business. Zaac Seru (Prolifik The Gifted), the bands musical maestro, primary beat maker and producer describes the album as “Our message to world”. Seru being the selfless and humble musician he is, has always been reluctant to accept the accolades he rightfully deserves. ‘Prolifik’ as he is known, has the undeniable respect from all factions of the Sydney scene for his beats, skills on wax and his larger than life persona. This body of work yet again proves why he is fast becoming Sydney’s most versatile and skilled producer and deejay. “HIGHLIFE will set in stone P’s reputation and plant the launching pad for his career”, explains Bennett about Seru.
The concept for the album wasn’t a revelation for the pair but an organic process, much like the music. Seru explains “ We took our time with each and every track on this CD. We built beats together, refined choruses and hooks together and made a concept together. The only way Ryan and myself can work is if we are creating together, organically. A track rarely has any substance when we work via email and spaced out sessions. We work in sync in the studio and the music just flows”.
The deeper embedded meaning of the album concept is described by Bennett as a “foundation and platform of beliefs that we share”. “We’ve only focused on developing our sound since our Ep and instead of wasting our time, like so many rappers do, with the stereotypical image side to music, we’ve kept our heads down”. The term HIGHLIFE is commonly used and refers to the lavish life of those who are rich and famous, yet this is the polar opposite. “It’s our way of thinking” explains Bennett, “staying high above the clouds away from the evils of the world and avoiding the garbage which is so commonly attached to music. We have been truly focused on audio and left everything else that accompanies musicians to achieve success” states Bennett.
From the beginning to end ‘HIGHLIFE’ delivers sonically dense vocals over earth shaking percussion. Topped and layered with artistic sample division and sniper like turntable accuracy. The album shows off the many talents of the pair extending to Bennett’s vocal ability and lyricism and Seru’s layered drums and musical overlays. The chemistry between the pair is undeniable,as Prolifik’s beats only feel suitable for Semantic One’s baritone flows. “The album challenges people to think,” explains Seru, “It makes you really think about what the purpose of music is”.
Never Sleep video clip available at the link below: