Review: ILUMINATIVE – ‘Kundalini Rising’



An independent rapper, singer, songwriter and freelance music artist from the creative heart of Byron Bay, Joshua Lewan, better known by his stage name ILUMINATIVE has been carving his own unique path through the Australian rap scene for some time now. A versatile talent, he’s earned himself spot on mainstream radio stations across the country, along with a host of internet-based radio stations on the international scene, building moments and spreading his sound with increasing momentum.


Due for release in a few days’ time, ‘Kundalini Rising’ is ILUMINATIVE’s most recent and impressive album. A nine-track collection of hybrid rap cuts, the album begins with a cultivated stream of synthetic sounds, creating a celestial backdrop from which a far more cinematic sound emerges. A delight to behold, the title track is a masterclass in beats and instrumental flourishes, creating an unassailable sound that perfectly mirrors that grit and passion in ILUMINATIVE’s vocals. A strong and wonderfully visceral opener, it sets the tone for what is to come with perfect form.


Second cut ‘Sacred Temple’ continues the iconic sound, boasting massive production and a strong refrain that ushers in a sonic, anthemic sound. It’s a refreshing take on the Australian hip-hop sound, pushing the envelope with a bright dramatic flair. As the album continues, the highlights continue to flow, bringing to light complex rhyming schemes and deft melodic twists in ‘Genius Code’, heavy, driving synths in ‘The One’, and authentic sentimentality in standout singles like ‘Angels’ and ‘Know Yourself’.



Carving a harder path on ‘Resistance’ and ‘New World’, ILUMINATIVE really lets fly, creating a dense, cathartic experience that goes well and beyond your everyday rap anthem. Talented odes to the brave souls who never fold or let life push them down, the central mantra of ‘Kundalini Rising’ creates a sound that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Brilliantly showcasing a rapper who is at the top of his game, the album is an unforgettable battle cry that simply demands to be heard.


You can find ‘Kundalini Rising’ on Reverbnation and Amazon Music today, along with selected releases from ILUMINATIVE on CD Baby.


Score: 9/10


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