Two words: Fuck Yeah.
Over at Black Lantern, Texture's Aphasia EP has just dropped and has been getting heavy rinsage from Little Rock already. Stalking through the shadows cast by spoken word, hip-hop, dubstep and trip/hop electronica, Aphasia worms its way into the hindbrain and whispers dark secrets in dissambled language; pop culture is chewed up and regurgitated, reference points subsumed into the twisting mass of electronics and verbal acrobatics. Of the four tracks, two instrumental, two with vocals, my personal favourite is Impact, which sees Texture joined by fellow Black Lantern operative Harlequinade, with Asthmatic Astronaut on beats. The balance between Harlequinade's apocalyptic intonations; "will the clocks all stop at the moment of impact? / will we lacerate reality when we tear off these masks?", Texture's abstract lyricism, and Asthmatic Astronaut's feel for classic hip-hop bounce makes for a compelling and powerful finished product.
The rest of the EP sees the third member of Black Lantern, Morphamish, co-producing. Those that heard the now-defunct Double Helix project, or Morph's own material (posted a while back), will know what to expect; slick, rich production values, dubby swathes and heavily compressed synths EQ-d to perfection. It's a synthesis that works well, it's surprising to hear such richly engineered sound on 'net label releases; previous 'Lantern releases Big Whoop and Riders On the Conquering Worm were brilliantly lo-fi, and abrasive noise-core respectively. It's also refreshing to hear Morph trying more laid-back, groove-driven production, in comparison to the beasting dubstep of Double Helix.
Aphasia's still not easy listening; Texture's abstract, bookworm approach to MCing demands a intellectual fascination with density and obtuseness of (this is for fans of Doseone and ELP, not Kanye and Fiddy), and with such a combination of influences, it's doubtless going to alienate straight-up hip-hop heads. However,as the first of a trilogy of EPs, and Morphamish's own channel set to launch on Black Lantern next month, we're sure as hell going to be paying attention to Black Lantern.
And if you don't like it?
"...when you question my theories,
I say up, up, left, right, star, down continue,
suck it up motherfucker, now the word virus is in you"