Bio: Few artists can combine uncomfortable with catchy; paranoiac with head-nodding; morbid with springy. It's hard to scare the sh!t out of you while simultaneously keeping your foot moving ... (more)
Bio: Few artists can combine uncomfortable with catchy; paranoiac with head-nodding; morbid with springy. It's hard to scare the sh!t out of you while simultaneously keeping your foot moving. Rapper, producer and Def Jux founder El-P knows how to get to parts of the brain others can't. As a solo artist and frontman for seminal hip-hop group Company Flow or producer of Cannibal Ox, Cage, Mr. Lif, Aesop Rock, NIN, Beck, The Mars Volta (and many, many more), an El-P production can drive you to hide underneath the bed, punch a wall and nod your head all at the same time. Which brings us to Weareallgointoburninhellmegamixxx3 (Gold Dust, August 3rd 2010), the sort of, kind of but not really follow-up to his past two mixes of the same name previously released at live shows.
It's another unique release in the artist's catalog. In the tradition of Company Flow's Little Johnny From The Hospitul (1998), El's own Collecting The Kid (2005), and more recently Weareallgoingtoburninhellmeggamixx2 (2007), Hell3 is a fully realized suite of instrumentals that continues to exemplify the producer's versatile, otherworldly, futuristic and wholly original sonic worldview.
"I wanted to do little mini-movements that had a real beginning, middle and end and then moved on," says El-P. "The challenge for me was taking all these seemingly unrelated little pieces of music I had laying around and fitting them together as a cohesive piece. I wanted to craft a record that had an arc."
Given this format, Hell3 both sounds similar to and nothing like anything you've heard before. "Drunk With a Loaded Pistol" starts off woozy and deranged before evolving into a warning alarm/drum attack. "Time Won't Tell" opens as a soundtrack for the apocalypse followed by the layering of guitar-driven pop over boom-bap drums. As the album title implies, El-P creates a dark, dystopian sonic universe filled with ominous basslines and thumping, punishing drums.
Comprised of original instrumentals as well as remix instrumentals to Kidz in the Hall's "Driving Down the Block" and Young Jeezy's "I Got This," Weareallgointoburninhellmegamixxx3 represents songs that were meticulously crafted yet never found a home on a proper release. While sonically different from J Dilla's instrumental masterpiece Donuts, that album would prove inspirational to El-P. "Like Donuts, I wanted to keep things short and to the point. I think that's an aspect of instrumental music that so many more people can relate to. I didn't want anyone to listen to this record and at any point get bored."
While the producer is currently working on the follow-up to 2007's I'll Sleep When You're Dead, Weareallgointoburninhellmegamixxx3 functions as both a stopgap and standalone album. "This was a chance for me to give something to my fans as a reward for their patience as I worked on my new record. With the past Megamixxes, I never sat down and really tried to make a record. It was more like, 'Here's a bunch of cool stuff you haven't heard.' I look at this new one as a proper album. Me calling it a Megamixx is just an excuse to get to Volume Three of anything." (less)