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1 January, 1999@12:00 am

After a year-plus break, Company Flow (minus Bigg Jus) return to scene with El-P’s trademark aggro-electro steelo. Ill Bill joins El-P on the obtuse, fun crushin’ “Simian D aka Feeling Ignorant” while “Simple” is anything but as Co Flow gives your noggin a hard knock with the lyrics that lets the beat damage it further. No less provocative, though a tad more accessible is Cannibal Ox, led by Vast Aire and Vordul, who tap El-P for the beats but provide all the ill lyrical themselves. 

If Cannibal Ox reminds people of Company Flow – the same, super-scientifical lyrical excursions, the same fuzzed out, electro-altered beats – it’s not a huge surprise. El-P produces the Ox pair of Vast and Vordul and they jump off from the Co Flow aesthetic with pleasing results. “Iron Galaxy” pumps one of the nicer El-P tracks I’ve heard in a while, a contrast between beatific organs and a dirty guitar riff that burns through. Vocally, the CO got some sh*t to say: “everyone knows the city’s ill/cats kill/still black man holds nine/gotta chill.” It’s a twisted, complex lyricism, seeded with metaphors and similes that take a while to grow to fruition but repeated rewinds help immensely. “Straight Off The D.I.C.” kicks a similar vibe – steady dropping drums anchoring a track that’s too weird to describe adequately – and, the Ox stomp in with a futuristic rhyme scheme that pops and locks like machinery. This isn’t exactly for the jiggy, iced out crowd and it might even be a little to the left of your back-to-the-roots underground heads but for those searching for that next level sh*t, this might be it. Oddly, El-P slides the Ox better beats than he does for Co Flow’s own joints on this double 12″, either way, it’s good to hear all these cats back in the mix.

  Mixtape D.L.
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