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AESOP ROCK

The explosion of indie Hip Hop labels in the early 90s resulted in an ongoing snowball effect that started to shift the narrative around an artist’s need to sign to a major label. Coincidentally, quality home recording equipment was also becoming more easily accessible and, with the rising popularity of CD-R technology, this allowed artists to write, record, and manufacture their own albums right at home.

Appleseed was a highly celebrated and influential release from that era, cementing Aesop Rock as a new face whose talent could not be denied. The album explores creative concepts with inventive writing and stripped-down yet melodic and melancholic production. Six out of the eight songs were produced by Aesop Rock, with Omega One producing “Sick Friend” and longtime collaborator Blockhead handling “1000 Deaths”, and the project’s sole guest lyricist was Doseone.

The DIY process was followed in every aspect, as Aesop himself recalls, “I did the Appleseed hand style while working at Tepper Galleries in NYC. The cover was made at Kinko’s. The first Appleseed CD’s were CD-R’s I duped at home and sold from my backpack at an MF DOOM show at Brownies, which was right below my apartment at the time. I continued to sell hand to hand in NY, while Blockhead started fielding some mail orders from a young internet. People would send us cash or a check, and he’d cut the covers out and mail them off.“

The two of them were able to move a couple thousand CDs that way before turning their attention to newer projects, particularly Float in Aesop’s case. As a result, Appleseed went out of print for many years before resurfacing as a merch item on tour. However, in all that time it was only available on CD, directly from Aesop. Finally, 21 years after its debut, Appleseed officially returns, now available on all digital platforms, as well as on vinyl for the first time!


TRACK LISTING

1) Appleseed Intro
2) Dryspell
3) Same Space (The Tugboat Complex, Part 2)
4) Sick Friend
5) Hold The Cup
6) 1,000 Deaths
7) Blue In The Face
8) Odessa Feat. Doseone

"Be not afraid! Whether you’re simply sightseeing, enjoying temporary flights of fancy or considering a more permanent relocation, the all-new Spirit World Field Guide offers twenty-one insightful chapters of firsthand know-how into the terrain, wildlife, and social customs of our parallel universe. The narrator’s vast expertise of multiple global entry points and various modes of interdimensional transport informs a rich tapestry of tips, tricks and tools to unfailingly aid in your ultimate survival. If you are among the countless individuals who find themselves feeling both dead and alive at the same time, the information contained within may serve as an invaluable asset to your journey. Godspeed and good luck."

Those are the words of the album’s narrator -- an attempt to prepare listeners, both old and new, for a safe entry into the Spirit World.

It’s been a long road for Aesop Rock to get here, releasing a steady stream of impressive albums, singles, and collaborative projects that have continued to invigorate, solidify and grow his diverse fan base, but he shows no signs of slowing down or deviating from his path, constantly pushing his creative limits. Last year saw the release of Malibu Ken, a joint effort featuring the psychedelic and trippy sounds of producer Tobacco, providing a different type of intrigue for Aesop's descriptive, compelling, and often humorous, writing. Then, he kicked 2020 off with a hard-driving single, "Rogue Wave", followed not long after by Freedom Finger, which found Aesop immersing himself in the video game world that the music was written and produced for. And this year still has a few exciting releases on the horizon yet, including the infinite heroics of "Long-Legged Larry", a 20-year anniversary vinyl release of his debut album, Float, and now his brand new album, Spirit World Field Guide.

Since his debut in the late nineties, Aesop Rock’s writing has been of the highest caliber, but one thing that has continually evolved is his near-flawless and diverse flow, now perfectly infused with his personality and a gift for visual imagery. On Spirit World Field Guide, characters, inanimate objects, and their surrounding environments vividly come to life as Aesop describes each passing moment throughout the album’s twenty-one chapters.

Welcome to the Spirit World. Explore with intention.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: 'Spirit World Field Guide' sees Aesop Rock mix some brilliantly rich beats with Bavitz' unmistakeable flow and background brimming with VHS saturated 8bit arpeggios and thumping bass.

TRACK LISTING

01. Hello From The Spirit World
02. The Gates
03. Button Masher
04. Dog At The Door
05. Gauze
06. Pizza Alley
07. Crystal Sword
08. Boot Soup
09. Coveralls
10. Jumping Coffin
11. Holy Waterfall
12. Flies
13. Salt
14. Sleeper Car
15. 1 To 10
16. Attaboy
17. Kodokushi
18. Fixed And Dilated
19. Side Quest
20. Marble Cake
21. The Four Winds

Aesop Rock

Bushwick

    First ever film score by critically acclaimed hip-hop artist Aesop Rock. Fans of DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist are surely already up on this guy? "Bushwick" is an independent, American action thriller, screening at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals earlier this year. The sounds hint towards Shadow's heavily crate-dug aesthetic but blend intricate electronic elements in with the source material, making for a galvanized, otherworldly listen that aligns itself as much with Ridley Scott's sci-fi futurescapes as it does present day dystopia. An encompassing, balls-out listen that perfectly encapsulates the claustrophobic nature of the film.


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