Clipping.: Midcity – album review
Clipping – Midcity (self released)
Clipping. say that they “Know about noise. But this is hip hop.” Louder Than War’s Adrian Bloxham has been listening to their excellent new album, see below for what he thinks.
“It’s Clipping. Bitch”
That’s how this starts, then a sound like an industrial burst of static and a stream of consciousness rap just how Ice Cube used to do. The rap is interspersed with more bursts of static and noise. You wait patiently for the beats to kick in.
You see that’s what I loved in old school hop hip, the Bombsquad sounding like open warfare, Dre giving us the laid back hemp fuelled soul synths and the Latino hardcore beats from Muggs. I got sucked in completely. I eventually lost touch with hip hop completely, listening to the odd mixtape and the big albums. Thinking that it was nothing new, nothing to take me by surprise. Then I got sent this.
There’s no beats. No drums, no hi hat, no booms. It’s all built on noise. The kind of noise you usually hear underneath ambient softness or industrial screaming. Not what you expect underneath a rapper. You can feel the wind howling around endless concrete constructions, the rain rattling on rusting iron sheets. The noise is crafted to give an extra depth to the lyrical flow. It makes you stop and listen, trying to cut through the words to hear the strange soundscapes underneath.
It’s kind of the missing link between OG and Maxinquaye, the total front and attack of the former mixed with the different ideas of percussion in the latter. But that’s clutching at straws. I’ve not heard anything like this before. The rap is smooth and considered, it’s negative and harsh but then wasn’t all the best hip hop? The noise is looped and messed with to give a base to the flow, but it’s still light years from anything else. Like rap tripped on the kerb and fell through a wall into a scrap yard. The sound of right now, owing to the past but ignoring any rules that may have been written.
This album is a return to rap making me think and making me listen. Hardcore in every way.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. More work by Adrian on Louder Than War can be found here.