Imagine ‘psychedelic-hip-hop’. Struggling? Well, this is exactly that and it works so, so well.
North Carolina duo, Dirty Art Club release their new EP ,’Hexes‘, an acid trip of hip hop and electronica with a hallucinogenic edge. It opens with ‘Black Acid‘; a sitar and string led delirium where voices tell you they “want to sleep in your mind” making it clear from the very beginning that with this release you truly are through the looking glass. Already with the opener, the duo manage to capture that ‘Magical Mystery Tour‘ element to the release, perhaps most noticeable in the sampling of speech and other sounds, layered in amongst the tracks.
After opening with a strong psychedelic number, the next track is where it all goes hip-hop. The best way to describe ‘Full Metal Jacket‘ is Madlib-meets-Tame Impala. I mean, this was made to be vocalled by MF DOOM. Led by this chopped chime over a dancing baseline and old school hip hop drum beat, it certainly has a retro feel to it, brought back to life with the hip hop components. The album continues in this retro styling, switching between more psychedelic tracks (Hexes, Into the Night) and more hip-hop based tracks (Rosslyn’s Crypt).
In amongst these though, the duo offer us a taste of something slightly different from the rest. On ‘Minilla‘ for example, a splurge of various pulsing synths and pounding drum samples with a touch of the psychedelic; or album closer ‘Slow Burner‘ which takes a turn in a completely different direction, showcasing post dubstep stylings with James Blake-esque vocal samples, before melting into a piano breakdown and ending on manic screaming laughter. This release is good, very good. Hip-hop lovers and Psych Disciples will find this equally as appealing, as the crossover is seamless and hazy at the same time. Now all we can do is sit back and wait for someone to potentially ruin it with vocals.
Words by Tom Dickinson