"The next generation's DOOMED..." — I don't know how they've managed it but the sick twists behind Cult Mountain have found a sound even more minimal, yet somehow even more MAXIMAL on this brainjangling seven tracker. What's happened is that the beats have become crisper, less smeared, less foggy, clearer. However what's applied to those beats is a hyper-painstaking sense of detail and it's actually scarier when these nutters sound frenetically IN CONTROL of their music. 'Sacre Bleu' is just a bass and beats but the way they've cut and spliced the beats lends massive drama to every line. 'Rotten Milk' is worthy of Strange U (praise comes no higher), 'Je T'Adore' sees Lee Scott and Trellion add typically traumatised rhymes into the madness and 'H20' has the mighty Black Josh and Stinkin Slumrock dropping hotknifed nine-bars into the cauldron. Sup deep. Superb.
SLEAZY F BABY FEAT. STINKIN SLUMROCK
"I'm looking in the mirror like, Well, well, well — you're a handsome fucking devil and you're going to hell'". Like Black Josh, what raises Sleazy above the herd is his compelling stage presence and delivery. Where alot of the greatest UK rap this year, understandably given current events, sounds broken, hopeless, strung out, Sleazy still sounds close to fury, close to exploding outwards, close to the edge rather than already fallen over it. This track from the stunning 'Blahk Tracksuit' set simmers with seething menace — the kind of voice and persona you'd give a wide berth to cos you know the wrong word, ANY word, might pop him off like a bomb. Essential music from an essential label for anyone wanting to hear the true sound of the UK in 2016 and onwards.
Y'know I get the oddest feeling I've heard this before. MAYBE BECAUSE I FUCKING HAVE AND WILL CONTINUE TO HEAR THIS KIND OF DOGSHIT SO LONG AS SO MANY CRETINS OUT THERE KEEP BOOSTING IT AND ACTUALLY TALKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT HOW FUCKING MEDIOCRE CLOWNS LIKE FUTURE ARE IN SOME WAY THE G.O.A.T. Seriously, hip-hop is still great. Hip-hop fans on the other hand are reaching PEAK stupidity. Away with this bullshit.
If you haven't heard Dumbfounded's 'We Might Die' set get online and download a copy as soon as you can — not only does the production find fresh life in trap-paced beats, it also injects real oozing vibrancy into its bass frequencies and snare-hits, an addictive soundworld that booms in headphones and in your car with equal suspension-worrying brilliance. 'Harambe' showcases not only Dumbfounded's on-point rhyme skills but also gives you a hint as to the dark, doomy, supra-aware world his verbals emerge from. A talent to watch in 2017.
'You should've seen me in the '80s bumpin' New Edition...' — Hey, how come none of you numbskulls told me that Aesop Rock had got THIS good? 'Lotta Years' isn't strong enough in itself to make me spring cash for the 'Impossible Kid' longplayer (although looking at the LP I'm massively encouraged by the fact it has NO guests and is just AR throughout) but fuck me as a standalone track it's a doozie. Redolent in its whacked-out not-give-a-fuckness of J-Zone, a great gritty lo-slung groove over which droney keys, tough-assed guitar and AR's stoner-gibberish rhymes sit a treat. Get it get it get it.
'Midnight Madness/ Midnight Madness (M-Phazes Remix)'
Previously only available digitally hats off to Coalmine for bringing out this 7" version of HS's previously digital-only slapper. 'Midnight Madness' you should know already — pure flames and brimming with bad-man lyrics from Ruck (aka Sean Price) and Dr. Doolittle-style animal-talk from Rock over Shuko's funky instrumental. On the B-Side you'll find the fab remix from M-Phazes — again only previously available digitally from a Coalmine comp album. Brilliant to hear such a great track liberated from the forgetting-zone of the internet and imprinted on hot black wax as it should be. Spend your record tokens on it.
'Release The Stress'
Availiable at last on 12" this is a sublime track as you'd expect from the relocated Lewis Parker. The arrangement here is up there with Adrian Younge — gorgeous Isaac Hayes flutes riding a groove so wide and deep and suggestive it's like the Delfonics circa 1971. The details that pop off are key — little whorls of wah-wah guitar, strings shimmering and gliding inbetween little peals of horns and dissonant Rhodes peals. I just wish LP's vocal could've been bought to the centre of the mix more — so engrossed do you get by the arrangement you have to rewind to remember the verbals. Still a great 12" that should be in your rack and in your bag now.
DA FLYY HOOLIGAN
'Yamata No Orochi (Wu Baby 2)'
It was the Chemo production-credit that made me explore this and I'm so glad I did. 'Yamata No Orochi' is a follow-up to 'Wu-Baby' and is a homage to DFH's primary influences, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah — great sharp rhymes and sublime production throughout. I'm gagging to hear the debut album not only cos if it sounds like this it'll be awesome but also because it's called 'SCUM — Supreme Cut Untouched Magnificence' and it may well prove useful in the apocalyptic shitfest that 2017 is surely going to be. Arm yourself.
Loving Black Josh's 'Ape Tape' — just one in a welter of ace releases from Blah of late (also check out Sleazy F Baby's 'All Blahk Tracksuit' and Danny Lover & Wes Murray's 'Career Suicide'). This track is both a highlight and a good indicator of what you should expect. Beats and loops that make Danny Brown sound like Drake and rhymes that cut like a scalpel to your skull. The noise-loops that flutter around the diseased trap bass are just insane — extremely redolent for me of vintage Bomb Squad productions. Check the unsettling video for this on Youtube and then go get the tape off Bandcamp as soon as you can. Don't leave 2016 behind without it.