Rarely am I speechless about any artist. But just imagine that performance artist Laurie Anderson and musician/visual artist Brian Eno had a son, with an Aladdin Sane-era David Bowie as godfather, and you’ve got Michael Stork, better known as mStork.
mStork defies most rap classifications. Is he SteamPunk? Medieval? Rapper? House? Electronic? Time traveler? I think he may be all those things. His songs definitely have rap rhythms, interesting and otherworldy lyrics and cool beats. He doesn’t sound like any ‘normal’ rap artist; rather, I think he sounds like a cross between Frank Zappa, Ivanhoe, The Moody Blues and Insane Clown Posse.
I truly am astounded by mStork’s music. I want MORE MORE MORE. mStork is one of the first artists I’ve heard in a long time whose music left me totally speechless and amazed.
Please take a listen at his BandCamp site. Or you can listen to him on SoundCloud. A good track is The Astronaut’s Revenge. Epilogue is trippy and weird. We Are the Robots is amazing. Bubonic is still freaking me out. Be sure to check out one of my favorites of his tracks, Marakkesh.
I have no idea what to truly classify mStork as, but I do know he’s outrageous, original, unique, and someone who finally brings something new to the rap game.
His official bio reads:
‘Amongst the dexterous synths, palpitating electronic beats and guitar scribbles, Michael Stork’s lyrics pour out with an unmistakable brightness and gravitas.
As a rap vocalist he has forged a distinctive path over the last 15 years through numerous albums and live shows around the UK. His style and delivery oscillates between the baritone drawl of Roots Manuva and the twinkly-eyed cheek of Andre 3000, whilst occasionally bristling with Gandalf-like fury against draconian forces as he draws energy from that deep seam of genuinely rebellious rap music.
Thematically Mike is unafraid to tackle innocence and guilt, the everyman and the deviant, science and folklore, spirit and flesh, the Renaissance and the drizzle-defying British BBQ, all with a delight in language and outlawish charm.’
In his own words:
Regarding my musical influences, I was rocking out as a teen, then found Hip Hop Hurray Naughty by Nature – astounded by the lyricism and surrounded by new friends at college in suburban London showing me hiphop culture, I started learning to rap by writing my own lyrics to replace the words in songs, keeping the flows! Mental. One way to learn though I suppose. University took me to central England – where I rode a vibing hip hop scene that was generating around me, hosting open night mics at Custard Factory Medicine Bar around ’98 – 2000.
Roots Manuva – Andre 2000 – Goodie Mob – Pharcyde – Del and Heiroglyphics etc.. the Golden Age! these became my addiction
I joined a crew – Michaelis Constant – Two albums, vinals, lots of university gigs including cambridge college ball – gig in Latvia – they found out about us cos we short wave radio sampled some Latvian completely by chance and it wound up on a track.
I turned to learning guitar and accordion etc – started writing folk and bluesy rock music – The rock band ‘Hawker’ are just on the cusp of getting somewhere, we wrote enough for two or three albums! Stephen Broughton became my partner in crime, and he has been trawling America playing Nashville and NY and Miami with a session band, promoting.. some interest from labels but its all fairy dust! you still have to think happy thoughts to make it fly.
Now for me, the last year or so, I have turned back to lyricism and electronic music, cos its fun! I was finally ready to do something for ME, instead of someone else.
So I am working with a variety of producers and musicians, getting continually inspired by my friends primarily – committed to local music as it is so much more REAL when you are lucky enough to know the artist or at least have had some contact – but saying that, i fell off my chair when i heard Metronomy “I’m Aquarius” and Tune-Yards “Water Fountain” so future projects.. some sort of melodic electronica seeping into the hiphop; the only genre where you can squeeze a short book into one song.