On his [Visions Before] EP, THELASTGEKKO explores the realm of atmospheric hip-hop as he embarks on the convoluted road to self-discovery, alone.

Massachusetts-bred protean producer, THELASTGEKKO, doubles as an introspective rapper who’s been experimenting within the realm of atmospheric and psychedelic hip-hop since 2015. Born and raised in Boston’s Hyde Park, GEKKO has graced Boston’s music scene with a fresh approach to the vivid and exploratory world of trip-hop. GEKKO’s soulful beats are saturated in ambient, electronic waves that allow this eclectic artist to roam free within his musical endeavors.

His EP, [Visions Before], dropped back in January of 2018. An 18-second intro entitled “birth.” sets a dim tone for this EP, quickly growing eerie as laughter begins to materialize over a harrowing piano. This fleeting intro transitions into follow-up track, “I Don’t Know,” where our artist delivers confessional and brooding lyrics. “It’s just the way that my mind works / there ain’t no regulate,” GEKKO raps, as he attempts to understand the workings behind his own mind. In “Onomatopoeia,”GEKKO deems himself a “lone ranger [with] no home” and over a deceivingly bouncy beat, the chorus runs, “cut em’ off like ooh ya.” These two introductory tracks are vital pieces that establish this EP’s key themes: the convoluted road to self-discovery and the dark comforts of isolation.

As we reach further down the track list, the soundscapes begin to rise from the fog and develop their own pulse. Our once disheveled narrator gains composure and begins to display a newfound self-assurance as he walks the world alone. In “Onomatopoeia” a reverberating ebb and flow breathes over a hopeful piano that carries the self-reliant rapper towards vibrant synths that pang in “Don’t Call” as he raps, “Yeah I got my problems / and I learn how to solve ‘em/making moves on my own / gettin’ it all alone.”

However, a perplexing moment hits when “Coterminal” springs into motion. The music turns inward on itself and grows heavy. Our narrator begins to waver as his verses lose ease and his vocals burrow into the background, but the brisk beat won’t allow for leisure. He raps through the melancholy motions, “trying to keep together / but I’m spilling out my sides / moving fast forward ‘cause there ain’t no rewind.”

Throughout [Visions Before] we witness GEKKO toil for a sense of direction, faltering just as he begins to grasp his bearings and ascend beyond the imprisoning thoughts. He reiterates to his listeners that setbacks are an inevitable part of progression. He’s an artist that paves his own path and walks it alone. Gekko closes out this EP with short-lived outro, “[epiphany],” leaving us with a mantra to consider; “don’t expect anything from anyone,” he firmly states, “death to expectations.”

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