Alias - Muted
The artcore Anticon beat-scholar, Alias, welds brain and beauty on this excellent follow-up to his highly acclaimed Eyes Closed EP and first full-length instrumental work, Muted. The beatsmith behind most of Sole’s solo works and former Deep Puddle Dynamics member, Alias has eloquently evolved his luscious syrupy compositions into a solid album.
Similar to the countryside glitchscapes of Boards of Canada and Four Tet, or the emotive noodlings of Amon Tobin, Alias constructs mood-spaces that shift from second to second yet are still firmly rooted in hip-hop. Static-filled voices sway into delicious sluggish beatwork on the opening cut, "Begin Again" that is vividly akin to vintage BoC circa, music has the right to children. The melodic beatbox of "Sixes Last" morphs into a delicious progressive-Miami Bass booty bump. On the meticulously minimal track, "Unseen Sights‚" featuring Marcus Acher, Alias exemplifies that he can still shine despite the dim glimmer of Acher’s monochromatic vocals. The sizzle here remains the subtle anti-war vocal sample on "One Obvious Rule" elucidates the concept that instrumental-based work doesn’t mean de-politicized music, as its drony beat fizzes into a nameless voice that reminds us to "just remember two words: governments die… good starting point for any citizen."
Ultimately, the cartoony Anticon collective of everyman-rhymers and art-school beatmakers, specifically Alias, solidify the idea that the greatest resistance to the corporatized space of hip-hop and electronic music is to simply construct good albums. Beauty, as Alias proves, rests in beats not bombs.