Recorded perhaps some 5 years back, this record is a document of history. As an emotionally lawless AWOL One revisits a project some 3 albums released past its inception (blame the industry for tardiness) – for while his most recent collaborative work with L.A. production-powerhouse Daddy Kev (and the most recent ) have probably thrown more muscle behind his drone than no other, remembers a slightly younger, harmonizing derelict, virtually, musically, commiting suicide for 16 tracks.
Adding to the oddity, is full production from KXLU 88.9FM (Loyla Marymount University) veteran disc jock, Mike Nardone (see: We Came From Beyond released earlier this year for more details). Nardone, responsible for exposing many a listening head to the likes of Freestyle Fellowship, Dilated Peoples, and more, is the West Coast’s finest college radio DJ – but behind the boards, he’s no Dre (we should know he’s not attempting that either). Given the time of its recording, personifies Awol One within the Shapeshifters mold of the late Nineties, as Nardone slashes strange bassline bubbles atop unkempt drum programming amidst a slew of simple brilliance and occasional agonizing atypicals.
Interestingly enough, also gathers a notable roster of other collaborators from Aceyalone, Abstract Rude, Ryu of Styles of Beyond, Sole (of Anticon), Kool Keith. and brother-from-another-mother, Circus. It’s within these joint ventures that this batch of weird songs are put into
percpective. Ab Rude finds a home twice, and leaves the most memorable imprint of all the guests that arrived. “Eye Am”, a smash-banger from the slept on compilation of a few years back is freshly revisited while “Dew Yew No”, a somber something, is marked as the album highlight just because of the trio’s suburb mesh (leaving the listener wondering what an
album of all 3 individuals together would bump like). Fellow A-Teamer, Aceyalone shows up during a pinnacle of harshness. Like a raw vein, exposed to the L.A. smog, “Public Bathroom” meanders around the subject of a female’s self-inflicted abortion in, of all places, a ‘public
bathroom’. The unimaginative and unprepared should probably slide past this one.
Alone though, is when Awol holds no feeling back, and perhaps with the time between this release and his more recent drops, his views towards himself and society have changed, this is
irregardless, for unadulterated angst, depression and morose ooze from song to song, from the most obvious to subtle ways. This is the Awol heads that know Awol came to love some time ago, he?s no different atop new beats or newer concepts, this is just his point of realization.
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