Not too long ago news broke of rapper Danny Brown joining Warp’s roster. Apart of Flying Lotus, Warp is not traditionally known for associating itself with Rap or Hip Hop acts. And even the works and collaborations that Flying Lotus has produced on his own and in collaboration with rappers such as Kendrick Lamar (Never Catch Me) could hardly be called Hip Hop.
The first single to come from Brown is the offbeat anthem “When It Rain”. It’s an adrenalin charged dystopian plethora of weird yet wonderful sounds. It is only after listening to this song many times over, that you get somewhat of an understanding of how Brown will fit in perfectly with the bunch of misfits on Warp’s roster.
Sonically speaking, this song is very aspiring, with it’s drone like bass-line and piercing lead synth. All of these elements are glued together by a fairly prominent swing on the entire arrangement which manages to throw the listener off a bit. Brown’s high pitched rap always feels like it’s going to get ahead of the music, but instead he manages to mould himself perfectly into the arrangement as if almost effortlessly. It’s this perfect blend of uncanny eccentricity and an unmistakable sense of confidence that has gained him notoriety amongst critics and listeners alike.
With the current music scene saturated due to a plethora of record labels, both independent and major, many artists are afforded the opportunity to reach a global audience at a very low cost, at least in comparison to the physical format years. One label that has done so to maximum effect is Text Records.
The label, started in 2001 by Four Tet, recently released an album by Percussions (Four Tet) titled 2011 until 2014, which is a compilation of all of his Text Records 12” releases under that pseudonym, and other material from around the same time. Whilst Text Records does not have its own dedicated website, the label has been making waves in other areas, as Four Tet was representing his company at the Independent Label Market event in London on the 28th of March 2015.
February 2014 is one of the few songs on the album that was previously unreleased. Starting off very minimally, it rapidly progresses with a wide array of different synthesizer and pad sounds. An ever-changing piece, this is one song that simply refuses to slow down. This progressive nature is epitomized in the sudden introduction of a very imposing hi hat and kick drum at the mid way mark.
The song Blatant Water Cannon is unique in that it uses the echo effect to enrich the synthesizer pad and vocal sample, both of which are driving instruments in the song, creating an enthralling staccato effect. The song repeats the same patterns for a few minutes before briefly bursting into life with the introduction of an ‘arppegiated’ synthesizer and string pad.
October 2011 is a very interesting song in that it brilliantly blends a very imposing synthesizer with the rhythm of percussion. Although not comprised of much in terms of unheard material, we are treated to an album previously not available in this form neither on vinyl, cd or the digital formats (mp3/WAV). 2011 Until 2014 can be easily downloaded from Percussions’ Bandcamp page.