No one quite knew what to expect from Octavian’s debut mixtape given the fact that he had only released a handful of singles (including Revenge). What every single had in common was a unique spark of brilliance that distinguished his newfound space on the scene- and Spaceman has solidified that. The-14-track project shows exactly where his ‘one in a million’ sound comes from, as well as his influences- giving us more of an understanding of who Octavian is musically.
The rapper’s EP starts off with a bang. Scared serves well as an intro, making use of dainty vocals and strings in the background but the transition into the track Sleep is what everyone seems to be talking about. The heavy drill instrumental wasn’t something I expected but after putting the song on repeat it started to make a lot more sense. The prominent quality that sets Octavian apart from others in his field is his gritty and coarse voice and how he commands it. His vocals compliment the track perfectly. As if his verse wasn’t enough, his thunder was definitely stolen by the featuring artist.
“If he didn’t know, now he deffo knows the name Krimbo.”
He offers a little more than the average drill rapper spitting about catching opps lacking whilst using the word ‘diligent’ creatively. There’s some real lyrical content and wordplay accompanied by a nice flow. Who am I to judge- like I said, I played it at least three times on my first listen of the mixtape.
Since we’re on the topic of features, let’s discuss Break That and Think Twice. Hearing Suspect on Break That was a ‘refreshing’ change as having him on a song always brings another dynamic of hype and pure energy. It’s the exact opposite for Think Twice. A2 has a certain depth to his music and even though he came with melodies instead of straight-up bars, his delivery was emotive and more than suitable for a mixtape outro. I definitely prefer Suspect’s feature to A2’s but it may be due to the fact Octavian performed Think Twice at A2’s concert as an exclusive.
I didn’t get the same ‘wow factor’ I initially had with Break That. Lightning incorporates a mixture of previous styles we’ve seen Octavian demonstrate. The song is reminiscent of the off-beat drop on Party Here, that gave off a rap-rave fusion, which is not easy to pull off. Hands also comes to mind with the synthesised auto-tune effect against a slower rhythm at the beginning of the number. This is all testament to the intricate production and composition throughout the tape that supports and embraces his style.
The overall vibe emanating from Spaceman is unquestionably positive and promising for the future. Whether it's Octavian's defining adlibs on his tracks or his peculiar and complex flow, we as listeners have become familiar with the London rapper as an emerging artist. From the moment the limelight caught a glimpse of him, he hasn't taken his foot off the gas and this album is the evident fruit of his labour.