October 22, 2009


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Anti-Pop Consortium, Fluorescent Black
Big Dada Records, Oct. 13

The flow’s the thing in hip-hop, or so reads the instruction sheet that’s now a crumpled ball in the corner of Diddy’s porno room. These three New Yorkers don’t simply un-crumple the directions oh-so-gingerly and bawl at the moon like a pack of crybaby backpackers, they read them upside down, parlaying their beat-poet roots into the perfect alternative-hiphop organism, or so it could be said, and plenty-enough greybeard B-boys and purists, types who can’t stand anything but MF Doom or Kool Keith, would. Tours with Radiohead and DJ Shadow highlight the trio’s rocky, fiercely independent history on no particular label (Warp Records is a key buzzphrase if you’re waiting for a Pavlovian cue), and this reformation will probably get them more of the sort of adulation that doesn’t pay bills, but if you’re ready to grow up a little, this could be a game-changer for you. Their only agenda is rhyme, driven by passions for strange-but-not-entirely-unfounded word associations, sibilance, alliteration, that stuff. Earl Blaize’s kaleidoscopic, quizzical beats are so far in the back it’s as if Run-DMC ran the mixing board. AEWS