Thursday, July 23, 2009

2002 : 21 "Human Shield" by Anti-Pop Consortium

One of the most enjoyable hip-hop acts to watch during the early part of the decade was the Anti-Pop Consortium. They only released two proper albums before splitting up but they managed to cram an incredible amount of disparate stuff into those albums: vintage analog synthesizers, robotic drum-machine programming, unusual lyrical inflections (dancehall and Nuyorican poetry-slam culture are both influences), gangsta fantasias, science-fiction imagery, affable clowning, sloganeering, skits, spaced-out marijuana-tinged studio fuckery… This cornucopia of pleasures doesn't attempt to fix what isn't broken—it's loaded with plenty of "classic" elements of hip-hop—but it also includes no shortage of oddball material, ultimately justifying its release on the Warp label (better known for releasing weird electronica like Autechre and Squarepusher). A representative track might be "Human Shield," from Arrythymia, structured around familiar hip-hop brags that then proceed to distort, skew, and push on towards more cyborg heights.

Jeremy Bushnell

Listen: Anti-Pop Consortium >> "Human Shield"

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