A7PHA
Release Date: 24/03/2017
Catalogue No.: LP-ABR-0164
Record Label: Anticon
Format: 12" Vinyl

The best art comes from the fringes. Easy signifiers and borrowed nostalgia will always sell, but the work that truly speaks to us, the songs that reframe the ways we look at the world, always arise from those with one foot removed from our realities. That_x001A_s where A7PHA comes in. Two celebrated veterans_x001A_anticon. co-founder Doseone and the esteemed underground rapper Mestizo_x001A_come together, the only ones strange enough to understand one another. A7PHA is the culmination of years of radical thought, lives lived on the knife_x001A_s edge. Their self-titled debut record (anchored by production from Alias) absorbs that left-field energy, splinters it into component parts, and re-assembles it into something uniquely human. Listen to _x001A_AT THE ALTAR_x001A_: a song built on steely, industrial instrumental pieces, but in its final form, you can practically hear the track inhale and exhale. The breaths are strung together by Doseone and Mestizo_x001A_s vocals, which flit back and forth from staccato and precise, to formless and gothic. Or check _x001A_99 POINT STATIC,_x001A_ where the track builds such steam that when the bottom falls out on the coda, you get transported through to the end on raw adrenaline. A7PHA does this over and over_x001A_building massive tidal waves of raw, immovable emotions, then turning on a dime, and leaves you scrambling to keep up. Few boast the pedigree to forge something so simultaneously listenable and invitingly bizarre. Doseone has spent two decades as one of hip-hop_x001A_s most inscrutable talents, working with a who_x001A_s-who of underground legends and establishing himself as one of the most dazzling technical MCs, chimerical lyricists, and creative visionaries. His contributions to A7PHA find him flexing all his undeniable vocal gifts: razor-sharp, rapid-fire cadences, an elasticity that unspools a vertiginous array of emotions. As a writer, he marries his cryptic strings of imagery to a frenzied search for something deeper. He pushes A7PHA as far as possible into uncharted territory. For his part, Mestizo grounds the proceedings, filling the songs out with flesh and blood. His vocals on _x001A_SICKED_x001A_ set the tone for the rest of the album: dense, punishing, and propulsive. If Dose is busy sliding around the seams of a beat, Mestizo cuts directly through. The Philly resident is the stone-eyed center of the record, the steady hand on the wheel while everything around him burns. But as _x001A_Hater Hate It_x001A_ makes abundantly clear, he_x001A_s not above some verbal acrobatics of his own. A7PHA isn_x001A_t made for upscale bars or low-key gatherings. It_x001A_s about shattering the facades around you, then staring, unflinching, and what_x001A_s left behind. It_x001A_s supposed to soundtrack minor mental breakdowns and house parties that permanently fuck up your security deposit. Doseone and Mestizo have something highly combustible on their hands, but for the time being, it seems that they know just how to handle it.

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