Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bloods & Grips

Nothing contemporary is without precedent, but how does one go through life with an increasing breadth of knowledge about the expanding palette of the present without becoming blind to the new when it does pop up. In all likeliness, the new will never actually be holistically unheard- at least in the way electronic noises once were, but will rather defy simple categorization as a proximal amalgamation of reference points. This is the way P4K often used to review (and still does occasionally), using the musical past as metrics, ancestry as math- they're the MBAs of music, finding no problem a calculation or a McKinsey study can't answer.

John Calvert at The Quietus makes a good case for describing the phenomenal new album by Death Grips as post-punk, forging a counter opinion to those who've offered the rather simple equation that the group is hip-hop with punk energy (these critics would do well to look back at writing from the 80s, which all used the lazy shorthand of referring to rap music as the "new punk rock"). Yet, while I see where Mr. Calvert is coming from, the things I hear in the record- which has its own thunder to unleash and need not hoard it from any retro-aggro-vault are far more recent audial samplings.

What I hear:

Wobbly brostep
Alec Empire digital assault patterns
Terminator X atonality and hypersonics
MIA franticism
Vex'd's early whip-crack scorched earth dubs
Techno Animal and Mille Plateaux's Electric Ladyland comps trip-n-scrape-your-knee-hop abrasion
Daniel Martin McCormick's barking vocal style on early Mi Ami records
Wonky's broken-and-reassembled-scotch-tape beat
Noise/post-noise textural grit n' shit
Mouthus-ish machine gun assault
The industrial-ish ragga of early tracks by The Bug  or DJ Rupture mixes like Gold Teeth Thief
Actress/Zomby epilepsy
'Nuum-fueled sample vocal science
The Butthole Surfers's disjointed psychodelia
Slick use of machinal loops a la Nine Inch Nails
The CD-skipping quality of footwork
The glitched out Kid606 remix of "Straight Outta Compton"