Ever since I first threw this record on a few days ago, it feels and sounds like a direct descendent of Company Flow’s Little Johnny From the Hospitul, an album clearly ahead of its time. Sure, the trademark click-chop LA beats are there and some slightly cheesey synth lines (check “Turbulence”), but the more dusty than digital aspect to much of the rhythm production harks back to that wake of sonic destruction laid down by El-P & Mr. Len in 1999. But ‘Chris’ (a Cher-like figure, I guess?), who is FTR, never sounds dated or retro. There’s a taste of Dubstep style bass tones and samples that sound off time or wrongly situated in some audio processing software, but end up fitting perfectly (again, a la Little Johnny…). Some of the snare hit sounds executed here splinter and crack like a 2×4 being smashed against your studio-cup headphones. Then there is some lovely psychedelia in “Wandering Gypsy” that certainly shares some nucleic acid with Edan’s Beauty & the Beat.
Make sure you have your ears checked by your local audiophile before you listen to this record, as to make sure you can handle the bass tones and rumble.
In parting, what I think I love best about the Los Angeles explosion (Flying Lotus, Deru, Noasj Thing, etc.) is that some of my armchair anthropological theories have been proven wrong. I never thought the grit and wisdom of East Coast HipHop would be infused into the slangin’ West Coast style. Oh, how wrong I am, but how happy can a man be for being wrong?!?