Dark Time Sunshine
ANX


4.5
superb

Review

by Michael Snoxall USER (47 Reviews)
July 20th, 2012 | 48 replies | 3,030 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dark Time Sunshine have fully developed their own style, proving they're one of the best talents in Hip Hop today.

3 of 5 thought this review was well written

Wherever one goes, it’s easy to find people expressing their disdain about the current decline in Hip Hop. Here, there and everywhere you can find someone complaining, “Hip Hop sucks, it’s all about bitches, hoes and sex,” and given that most people take what they see and hear at face value, this ignorance can be forgiven, because anyone can turn on the radio these days and hear the next Tyga hit and bash on the ever-growing mainstream popularity of Hip Hop. But slowly, I feel people are beginning to lift the lid and find the more credible and rising incline of modern day Hip Hop. With more and more talent appearing as of recent, the genre is stronger than it has been in years. Shock indie rap artists like OFWGKTA and Death Grips bringing about new fans to the genre that wouldn’t have looked twice beforehand, even Hopsin, while not being anything new or game changing, is taking mainstream misconceptions about Hip Hop and speaking out against them and blowing up in the online community. With more underground artists also slowly reaching the limelight, we arrive here with Dark Time Sunshine’s ANX.

Two years since their last offering, Vessel, Dark Time Sunshine come back with a more refined sound with ANX. They hit back here with more aesthetically pleasing beats, smoother flow and vocal execution, and more enjoyable production. On Vessel I felt a little overwhelmed by the production at times and it was like it was trying to cramp my style, it made me feel uncomfortable in the way it was mixed, like the beats and music were trying to climb over the vocals awkwardly. The sound found on ANX (short for anxiety) is much more focused and still brings forth a feeling of anxiety that pervades through the music and lyrics, while not detracting from my listening experience. While at times on Vessel, the lyricism and flow felt a little disjointed, everything here has improved and brought the duo to the height of their talent.

The production and overall sound is upbeat, it’s psychedelic, it’s precise and it brings many lovable hooks and some of the most memorable beats in the genre. The polyrhythmic, multi-layered textures and sounds all coming together to produce a full, enjoyable sound that you can’t help but hop along to. It sounds surreal and nostalgic in a way, incorporating Electronic dance style music in with Jazz and Hip Hop beats, and at times it almost feels like you've jumped into the soundtrack of an 8-bit video game from the 90's. Once again, DTS feature many other artists in their songs, many of which who were also featured on Vessel. The addition of these other artists helps diversify the music and provides a full platter for the listener to sink their teeth into. Where DTS seem to do everything right on this record is with the absolute standout track ‘Look At What The Cat Did,’ featuring hypnotic melodies and frantic, uneasy overlapping beats, all accompanied by a fantastic spit of raps and lyrical flow to build the whole song.

This record is one that screams to be heard. It’s so intricately built from the ground up and is a truly awe inspiring Hip Hop release. Over-selling it? Probably, but I feel I can say that and have it stand true. With Vessel, the band found their sound, but with ANX, they’ve perfected it. Addictive, fun, tense, loose, all of these rolled into a bite-sized portion that doesn’t let you ignore what it has to offer. Masterful story-telling and modern Hip Hop at its finest. A must have for any music fan.



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user ratings (278)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Jacob Royal STAFF (4.5)
“Sounds better when taking mushrooms and smoking a bit of cess, but staying sober and listening cl...

Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS (4.5)
Pushing the envelope of contemporary music in every possible way...


Comments:Add a Comment 
MichaelSnoxall
July 20th 2012



12163 Comments


Streaming here: http://www.okayplayer.com/news/dark-time-sunshine-anx-lp-stream.html

Feedback? Sort of a quick write up, just wanted to put my own two bits in about the album.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2012



9470 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

A good review, but I would've liked to see how much you could have improved it with a couple more days to sit over it.

Digging: Koan Sound - Dynasty

Maniac!
July 20th 2012



26187 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hello

Tyrael
July 20th 2012



20394 Comments


whaaaat

Digging: Lantlos - Melting Sun

MichaelSnoxall
July 20th 2012



12163 Comments


Yeah, I guess I could have waited a bit after I listened and soaked it all in a lot more, but I listened to it a good four or five times and felt I needed to say something. Damn good album.

Gyromania
July 20th 2012



14647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Bit premature, don't you think? I've had this for a while and I still don't know what to say.

Couple of things:

They hit back here with more aesthetically pleasing beats, smoother flow and vocal execution and a more enjoyable production


omit 'a' and put a comma after 'execution'. Much like when you say, "Here, there and everywhere," the punctuation makes it read awkwardly. I guess that's more of a preference thing though, because I don't understand why people don't use the oxford comma.

On Vessel I felt a little overwhelmed by the production at times and it was like it was trying to cramp my style.


Care to maybe elaborate? Because this doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, particularly the 'cramp my style' bit.

Over-selling it? Probably.


Really awkward considering that came out of nowhere and you didn't follow it with something like, 'but it really is that good...' or what have you.

Overall, you used a lot of adjectives but didn't really ever capture what this sounds like. I think you should add a couple to few more paragraphs about the sound of the album, and fix up the few things I mentioned.

Wolfhorde
July 20th 2012



11799 Comments


Sounds pretty good so far despite some moments and beats.

MichaelSnoxall
July 20th 2012



12163 Comments


Bit premature, don't you think? I've had this for a while and I still don't know what to say.


What can I say? I heard the album enough to develop a solid opinion on it and I like writing to keep myself focused and at least doing something these days when I have far too much spare time on my hands. Don't wanna ramble on about my life here but 5 out of 7 days of the week I have nothing to do. So I listen to copious amounts of music and write.


Care to maybe elaborate? Because this doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, particularly the 'cramp my style' bit.


Kinda meant I just felt a little bit battered down from it. Sometimes I feel the music was mixed too loud over the vocals and felt a little obnoxious. I don't know exactly how to explain it, but I didn't feel comfortable listening to it at some points, unlike this record.


Really awkward considering that came out of nowhere and you didn't follow it with something like, 'but it really is that good...' or what have you.[/unquote]


Well I don't want to give the reader unrealistic expectations, I know this record left me jaw dropped that after the statement I made in the last paragraph about it being awe inspiring, I thought that might be overkill for some people when describing it. It's how I feel, but I may be over-selling it nonetheless.


[quote]Overall, you used a lot of adjectives but didn't really ever capture what this sounds like. I think you should add a couple to few more paragraphs about the sound of the album, and fix up the few things I mentioned.


I can definitely agree with you there. I did want to say more about the sound of the record but I fell flat at trying to describe it. I'll have to sit on that for a bit until I can add more detail there.


Thanks for the criticism, it's always much appreciated. Will fix those couple 'things you mentioned.




MichaelSnoxall
July 20th 2012



12163 Comments


Whoops, screwed up my whole quoting system there. I'm tired, I'm gonna hit the hay.

MichaelSnoxall
July 20th 2012



12163 Comments


ujfhisufkafn okay, added some more detail to the review. Tried to explain how I felt about Vessel's production (probably might get some flak for it, but Vessel wasn't the listen I wanted it to be some of the time (I still love Vessel)). Added some more detail about how it sounds. Anyways, that's all I'm doing. More criticisms welcomed, always room for improvement.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2012



9470 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Album blew my mind on the first listen. Only songs I didn't adore were Rock Off, ANX and Never Cry Wolf (which is surprising considering DeVito's prominent role in the best tracks on Vessel)

Gyromania
July 20th 2012



14647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Really, you didn't fancy ANX? That's one of my favourites from this. I love the spacey electronics in
it and, lyrically, it's a great representation of anxiety. I suffered an insanely bad anxiety attack
earlier this year while in Chicago so maybe I'm being biased here, but I love what they did with it.
Lines like "J, could you stop here please? Maybe I just need some fresh air, (deep breaths), but when
I got up to walk, almost collapsed. Everything started spinning, I'm thinking stroke or a mild heart
attack," so vividly recall a very specific situation for me that was made all the worse by the fact
that I didn't have traveler's insurance ("Dug myself a hole to get out of with no health care").

kingsoby1
Emeritus
July 20th 2012



4830 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

anx is an incredible song. probably going to write my review tonight

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins

Gyromania
July 20th 2012



14647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

lol just noticed i put 'whole' instead of 'hole'.

Looking forward to reading your review, Sobhi. No clue when I'll write and post mine.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2012



9470 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I've only heard the track once, and I solely judged it based on its musical merit. I could tell it had some great lyrics, but I'd like to dig into it when its lyrics are officially released. And dude, that's insane. I can definitely understand why you'd connect to that song specifically.

"I'll Be Darned" may be my favorite on this album, besides "Look at What the Cat Did." I'll be writing a review on this album for MuzikDizcovery, but I'm not quite sure if it'd be worth posting here as well. It sounds like you guys will have all the bases covered. :P


HenchmanOfSanta
July 20th 2012



1651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I liked Vessel but this was way more compelling.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2012



9470 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I agree. This is a much more consistent listen overall, and seems to be more comfortable with itself.

Gyromania
July 20th 2012



14647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I thought you just made a comment about how no tracks from this stand out.

Gyromania
July 20th 2012



14647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

You didn't word it like that so I was confused.

Gyromania
July 20th 2012



14647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I wasn't being anal, you just didn't word it properly, hence my pretty obvious confusion and your need to edit your comment just now when you realized you screwed up. Saying, 'no tracks have stood out as much or been as epic as' changes the sentence's meaning.



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