Danny Brown‘s hugely anticipated new album (and first for Warp) “Atrocity Exhibition” finally reaches the shores and decks of many a hungry hip-hop junkie, bringing to the table guest spots from Kendrick Lamar, Kelela, Earl Sweatshirt and production duties from Evian Christ, Paul White & Black Milk.
Having lent his unique bars to Rustie on Attak back in 2014, his new link up with Warp makes perfect sense on so many levels. Having released left-field hip-hop in all manor of avenues from FlyLo’s L.A. escapism & Anti-Pop Consortium’s visionary tech-rap to the greyscale electro of mid period Autechre, Warp have always pushed the outer boundaries of hip-hop and in Danny Brown they have found an artist that perfectly fits into this lineage.
Named after the Joy Division track and also the Ballard novel (to which Joy Division lifted the title) “Atrocity Exhibition” features fifteen tracks of blunted scale that draw a full pair of lungs worth of influence from Ballard’s experimental, condensed novels that make up his Atrocity Exhibition to the hidden yet public existential crisis of Joy Division’s original. Danny Brown twists and spins his narrative of startlingly singular cuts over the rawest drumz this side of the D.
Instant highlights have to be the cold spring fog of From The Ground with Kelela to Pneumonia where Evian Christ rips up Cut Hands style metallic K.O. over which Danny spits a slowed articulation to devastatingly razor-sharp effect, the overall effect sounds like a Wu-Tang 12″ dubplate dropping on Blackest Ever Black.
Mixing blends of chopped-up funk to a heart racing story of life in the ghetto with shots being fired across the liquor store carpark on Tell Me What I Don’t Know to recent single Really Doe produced with Ab-Soul, Earl Sweatshirt & Kendrick Lamar. While there will be many drawing parallels and comparisons with Kendrick’s To Pimp A Butterfly, to our ears where Kendrick moved library and jazz into his world, Danny is bringing in early the cold winter months ahead, through an industrial sized sized vat of post-punk experimentalism that bleeds through his flavours to create a richly thick style and substance that’s ingrained in his DNA and stands him tall above the rest.
This is no more evident than in his discography, having spat with Kendrick and MF Doom to composing bars for Spinn and Rashad, The Bug & J Dilla, Atrocity Exhibition is a bar raiser in ever aspect of the term and is going to cement itself deep in the collections of everyone with a penchant for FlyLo, Warp, Factory Records, Radiophonic Workshop, Pusha T, early 00’s grime etc. etc. etc. because when it comes to hip-hop, spittin’ & bars no one really does it quite like Danny Brown, atrociously exceptional sounds fully warranted.