Themselves - CrownsDown

Anticon's crown jewel returns with <i>The No Music</i> of Boom-Bap

Album Review by Ali Maloney | 29 Oct 2009
Album title: CrownsDown
Artist: Themselves
Label: Anticon
Release date: 19 Oct

It could be argued that experimental music is at its most effective when it veers closest to the genre it descended from. Back when they were THEM, Adam 'Doseone' Drucker and Jerry 'Jel' Logan's exhilarating debut excelled the raps over beats formula. Since then, several things have happened: the sparse dreamscape-hop of cLOUDDEAD, the post-rock approximations of Subtle, the dense abstractions of The No Music and the growing exposure of Anticon as a roster because/despite of its increasing bent toward emo indie rock.

Having rewritten experimental hip-hop, Doseone and Jel return with, as Sage Francis called the Non-Prophets' Hope LP, their hip-hop book report, tipping hats to Gang Starr and Ultramagnetic. Dose's stuttered snarl is nastier than it's ever been and his dazzlingly complex multi-layered metaphors mesh well with beats which are as simple as they are dense and complex. The result is a true hip-hop album, equally as vital as Dr. Octagonecologyst. [Ali Maloney]