Dark Time Sunshine
ANX


4.5
superb

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
July 21st, 2012 | 439 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pushing the envelope of contemporary music in every possible way

As soon as opener "Hosanna In The Highest" kicks off ANX, it's obvious this is the same DTS that imagined the most surprising and left-field hip-hop record of 2010 in Vessel. Producer Zavala intentionally tips his hat to the very same technique used on Vessel's self-titled introduction before a redefining yet familiar transition to another Ceschi-led psychedelic jam. This is a very common theme throughout ANX - enough familiarity to remind fans why this music is truly groundbreaking, while progressing and refining their craft at the very same time.

The record's first real cut finds DTS riding an extended instrumental, evolving from a meandering, almost careless synth melody to a focused, fully developed core of "Can't Wait". It's impressive how much Zavala has grown as a producer in a short two years; no matter how busy a beat may be, he always finds his way to the most beautiful and seemingly only apparent transition. When a mood calls for restraint, he's restrained, shining a truly atmospheric spotlight on Onry Ozzborn's verbose, conscious rapping. When a mood calls for experimentation, we get tracks like "Valiant", where Zavala rocks the fuck out with a frenetic, syncopated drum loop that tries to overpower the composition yet is ingenious in its use. The argument could be made that such a well composed record is capable of enhancing any rapper; while true, the chemistry between Ozzborn and Zavala is easily apparent on tracks like "Overlordian" - Ozzborn is only moderately upstaged by a socially critical POS dropping one of his most insightful verses in ages:

By all means,
Tell me about your purchases.
That's great, really.
Nothing seems more poisonous
Than trying to spend your way out of worthlessness.
Smack-dab, every city's like a rat's lab,
That big scurry
Give me that, hurry back.
Fury in the belly like a hurricane,
Trapped,
But don't even know to bite back.
Just in-fighting and in-flight meals,
They in-step smile at cops and pay bills.
We probably not like you, correct.
We probably not
Are you? Yes.


Another well-chosen cast of featured vocalists and rappers rounds out ANX. While not dependant on its guests by any means, Zavala uses each artist's abilities dutifully, especially using his chosen singers to really enhance his control over melody. Poeina Suddarth and Reva DeVito reprise their excellent performances from Vessel with equally inspired features on "I'll Be Damned" and "Never Cry Wolf", respectively. Besides POS, all of the guest rappers drop absolute fire on ANX; Rochester AP speaks truth from grave, while Busdriver and Swamburger (from Solillaquists of Sound) spit some of their best verses ever (yes, ever). Aesop Rock closes out "Take My Hand" after Swamburger and Ozzborn, completely obliterating the mic in classic Aes Rock guest rapper style. Self-titled closer "ANX" effectively brings the record full circle with an evocative exposition on serious clinical anxiety by Onry Ozzborn amidst a sea of electronics and Mendee Ichikawa's echoing chorus - "When I woke up / I saw the sky / I kissed the ground / Opened my eyes / I will be here / and I will be here / and I will be, and I will be, and I will be..." - a fitting end to what was a very emotive overall performance.

ANX matures as a follow-up and pushes the envelope of contemporary music in every way, combining influences as diverse as dream-pop, trip-hop, psychedelia, indie rock, and others all under the ever-broadening tag of hip-hop. An exciting year for a creatively stagnating genre, Dark Time Sunshine continue to establish 2012 as the best (and most important) year for hip-hop in over a decade.



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user ratings (282)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Jacob R. STAFF (4.5)
“Sounds better when taking mushrooms and smoking a bit of cess, but staying sober and listening cl...

Michael Snoxall (4.5)
Dark Time Sunshine have fully developed their own style, proving they're one of the best talents in ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2012


31158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

New avatar: go!

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

MichaelSnoxall
July 21st 2012


12163 Comments


Better than my review. Good stuff.

FourthReich
July 21st 2012


17543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"New avatar: go!"
haha

kingsoby1
Emeritus
July 21st 2012


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

sure why not

sorry potatoofsilence :[

bloc
July 21st 2012


34848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album art is wicked

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2012


10192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

My god, that massive avatar is beautiful.

lovely review too :]

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Ire
July 21st 2012


41770 Comments


great review/av, man.

excited to hear this omg

ShadowRemains
July 21st 2012


20700 Comments


oh fuck this is gon rule...lots of stuff to listen to upon returning from vacation

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Gyromania
July 21st 2012


15687 Comments


Great writeup. Will post mine shortly.

joshuatree
Emeritus
July 21st 2012


3742 Comments


another hype train from sobhi; probably won't catch this one

seriously, dts is the epitome of white person rap (even more so than anything el-p affiliated, amazingly)

MichaelSnoxall
July 21st 2012


12163 Comments


Missing out, Josh. It's a killer Hip Hop record.

Jash
July 21st 2012


4244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This didn't impress me nearly as much as the last album, but it's still great.

Gyromania
July 21st 2012


15687 Comments


cam: elaborate?

Funeralopolis
July 21st 2012


11339 Comments


This sounds up my alley will check out.

Digging: No Joy - Wait to Pleasure

DuMont
July 21st 2012


84 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5


seriously, dts is the epitome of white person rap (even more so than anything el-p affiliated, amazingly)

Whilst I would have to agree that this is the case probably moreso with this album than Vessel (Aesop Rock's latest album is to an even greater extent), DTS pull it off much less brazenly and much more innovatively than most. I totally understand (and to some extent share) your unease with music like this but at the same time, it is 2012, hip-hop is a very long-standing genre now to the point where pre-conceptions and classifications like this will need to be let go of at some stage for the genre to evolve and diversify.

I really enjoyed this album but I don't think it's quite as good as Vessel, it just seems less hard-hitting and diverse initially. Need to give it more time though tbh.

Romulus
July 21st 2012


8434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

how is this more "white person rap" than like, aesop rock



Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2012


7996 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Atmosphere is the epitome of white person rap, and they always will be

TomArnoldsArmpit
July 21st 2012


3009 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

saw these dudes the other night in portland. really liked the songs they played from this, I gotta listen to it.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
July 21st 2012


10593 Comments


I remember you going crazy about this back in 2010 when Vessel came out. Convinced me to get that then and convinced me to get this now, so kudos on that : )

plane
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2012


6094 Comments


An exciting year for a creatively stagnating genre, Dark Time Sunshine continue to establish 2012 as the best (and most important) year for hip-hop in over a decade.

sputnik: out of step



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