7/10 Mike Staff review, 07 August 2014
Myself and one of Team Norm were discussing the other day about how Anticon has gone from consistently awesome bastion of backpack hip-hop cool to frustratingly patchy over the course of a mere few years. This time resident beat-maker Alias returns with his third solo effort, 'Pitch Black Prism'.
As with Alias's previous efforts, though, I'm finding it steadily and somewhat same-ishly lumbers along with crisp ricocheting beats propping up a warm drift of subtle chopped up samples and wispy dream-like analogue drones. Highlights come in the form of the title track which flops around in cut up synth boops and staggered, stumbling kick drum loops and handclaps and wet splashy vocal snippets, and 'Crimson Across It' where Doseone turns up to liven things up a little with his vocals.
Closer 'Aikotune' is an overtly emotional high point too, but for the most part, this is a collection of thoughtful ambient-hop instrumentals that drift along pleasantly enough but often seem like he's sticking within his comfort zone and sticking to his tried and trusty drone'n'sample tricks. That said, if you're a fan of his previous albums and don't think "he's stuck to the formula" sounds like a bad thing, don't let grumpy old me stop you getting stuck in.
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- Pitch Black Prism by Alias
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