Beans – End It All
Anti-Pop Consortium’s Beans, now happily ensconced on the Anticon roster, bring us his fifth album proper. A departure from the largely self-produced Thorns and Shock City Maverick, the album features collaborations with a raft of different producers; but rather than ending up with an experimental hodge-podge of styles, End It All is a focused, streamlined hip-hop album.
Tracks like the DJ Nobody-produced Deathsweater, with its falsetto chorus and loping funk beat, wouldn't sound out of place as a vehicle for Jay-Z, but Beans owns the track without compromising his cut-up vocal technique. Electric Bitch, produced by Interpol's Sam Fogarino, features an animated Beans over a shoegaze-flavoured beat.
The Tobacco-produced Glass Coffins toys with 8-bit guitar riffs, while the stomping Mellow You Out, featuring TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, successfully fuses Beans’ compact flows with menacing blues-funk. Collaborations with Four Tet and members of Tortoise are equally successful. Crucially, at 33 minutes, and most tracks under four, End It All never outstays its welcome. [Bram E. Gieben]