Thank the holy spirit of music for Anticon records. Not only are they revolutionising hip-hop, but now, with Subtle they're giving rock music a run for its money too. Subtle is spearheaded by Adam "Doseone" Drucker one of the three brains behind the beautiful cLOUDDEAD who sadly reached their demise with their second album 'Ten'. He, cLOUDDEAD and many other
hip-hop artists who are all very tired of the clich's created Anticon Records and have compiled with each other to create
some amazing records under many different aliases. But never as an actual performing band.
Apart from The Roots, recording actual instruments in hip-hop music has generally been a no-go area unless it is a project between actual bands. Now, in the wake of cLOUDDEAD, Doseone, and fellow Anticon label mate Jeffery "Jel" Logan (drum machine, beats) have compiled together a band of instrumentalists, to create some, amazing hip-hop music. Now, if you've ever heard anything from the regions of Anticon Records, you would know, they have a taste for the weirder side of hip-hop, which is what makes them so influential, they really are doing something new. So, now add guitars, basses, live drums, and even woodwind over the usual equation of words, samples, drum machine beats, synth, and you know instantly you've got something really special here.
And this record, most certainly, does not disappoint. From the brilliant opener 'Song Meat' you instantly get a taste for what your in for, this track, possibly more than any other on the record, shows the biggest mesh of Hip-Hop and Rock music, and just how ***ing great it sounds when you do it. Doseone keeps his integrity in his experimental lyrics and sounds spurting out from his vocal chords, and this can actually be claimed as a pop song with it's fantastic sing-a-long chorus "never more wet concrete/ for song street/ this is not more wet concrete/ for new song street" it almost feels like At the Drive-in.
The other really noticeable feature is that, this is a short record. Well 40 minutes isn't that short, but it feels it when you listen. Why? Because this album is like a downward spiral, yes like the album too, it's constantly getting darker, more experimental, and more spliced between even more than the two main genres. Tribal clapping, techno styles samples and beats, a song that sounds like a Leftfield b-side, all for the listeners pleasure. And then, a single. 'F.K.O' (*** Kelly Osbourne) appropriately sits in the middle of this record, and is a slightly psychedelic journey, through beats and strumming guitars and bass lines. A fantastic song if there ever was one.
The overview of the sound produced could well be described as when Tool crashes into Leftfield, with The Roots coming in behind on a tandem. This is truly influential stuff and one of the records of 2004 and it further proof that, we don't need cLOUDDEAD to be still going to enjoy cLOUDDEAD's music.