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Four years on from If There’s A Hell Below and Detroit MPC-whizz Black Milk comes back with his sixth solo LP. FEVER demonstrates Black Milk’s growing confidence by bringing more live instrumentation into play than ever before. The result is an LP of fly neo-soul/rap that recalls Common, Kaytranada and more. It also proves BM to be a more-than-serviceable MC, with his bars cropping up on several tracks. Guests include Dwele and former D’Angelo drummer Chris ‘Daddy’ Dave.

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  • Double LP £19.99
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  • MSAP0054LP
  • MSAP0054LP / Black & red marbled vinyl 2LP on Mass Appeal. Includes poster insert

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FEVER by Black Milk
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8/10 Daoud Staff review, 05 April 2018

Psychedelic rock is having something of a moment right now. Or maybe it never stopped having one. Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra are among the most popular bands in the world of rock. But it’s all a bit… lightweight?

I like psych-rock and I think that half a century after the 60s ‘the psychedelic’ is still a rich enough vein to have a go at, but right now the best psych-anything isn’t being made by a couple dudes and some guitar pedals. No, for something more substantial you should look elsewhere.

Black Milk’s Fever is one such place. It has the fluidity of the best psychedelic music. The form of each track is constantly shifting and changing, shrinking and growing. Trumpets and guitars emerge and disappear, leaving you slightly off-kilter but always stable. Though it’s not as closely associated to psychedelia as rock, hip-hop has one clear advantage. It’s beats are built from loops, and the repetition mean Fever’s smaller details can expand like fractals.

Black Milk is first and foremost a producer, and even a cursory listen to Fever makes it clear this is a man who knows his stuff. But he’s also a rapper, and again, he’s good at it. His flow has a patience that allows him to ride these tracks with ease, and a restraint that gives them enormous depth in contrast. This also means when he deploys one of his few guests they’re all the more potent. Best is Sudie who closes out opening track ‘unVEil’ with some wonderfully harmonised vocals which add a real richness.

What most distinguishes him from his guitar welding peers is his willingness to be overtly political. The second verse of standout ‘Laugh Now Cry Later’ opens with an indictment of the racism of police. Psych-rock can be fun but what’s left after the rush?


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