Friday, 6 July 2018

Death Grips "Year Of The Snitch" (2018)

One of my most anticipated records this year has now arrived and with it comes that familiar Death Grips experience again. Initially alien, esoteric and bizarre, the music plays like a morbid curiosity, an avant-garde experiment into the estranged and then after some time it suddenly clicks into place, you feel as if you have known these songs forever. After the banging, fan pleasing Bottomless Pit the Sacramento trio return to their more adventurous side with an another unusual musical construct that echos some of their Exmilitary roots former glory.

Year Of The Snitch is primarily an aesthetic experience with its rich and vivid tapestries of synths, samples and unusual sounds that approach from all manor of odd angles as you would expect. The performance drumming of Zach Hill livens up the musics texture as the songs interchange between some tightly sequenced kits and his frenetic drumming, making itself know with fast shuffling grooves and fills in and among the chaos of sound one has to unpackage. Mostly the programmed drums hold down tempos and help along the experience with synthetic, quirky kits as opposed to pumping out grooves and energy like the previous record.

MC Ride is fantastic across this project, his lyrics are typically cryptic, quotable and require some thought as per usual but on this release specifically there is a strong mix of freedom, creativity and energy. All of his vocals feel free from any burden, Ride has and endless stream of ideas for delivery and flow that holds nothing back. The use of reverb, voice modulation, sampling, pitch manipulation and scratching enriches the already individual experience as a tapestry of voices emerge in bursts throughout the record around his main vocal line.

The trio demonstrate their growing chemistry as all the ideas on this record come together so cohesively, Rides vocal performance seems to melt into the detailed, layered instrumentals. As per usual wide range of sounds come together in a mania of variety and oddities and once again they find their own dimension, this may be in part to the striking return of rock guitars that throw back to the debut Exmilitary mixtape. There is also a noticeable sampling and snippets of vocals and sounds from their older songs thrown in the mix, giving it a stronger link.

All in all, Year Of The Snitch masters the side of Death Grips I have not been keen on so far. Ive loved the band when they strike with a touch of groove and those banging percussive beats but projects like Jenny Death that steer away from this backbone have yet to dazzle. In this instance I think the group found a balance that really works and loaded it with a depth of texture that really takes up your attention when focusing on the details in sound. The atmosphere they create and what all that madness adds up to is a wonderfully odd and unusual, a cluster of emotions drifting through the cosmic void.

Favorite Tracks: Death Grips Is Online, Black Paint, The Fear, Disapointed
Rating: 8/10