So Algiers formed a crew. The band - who have built one of the most exciting catalogs and cult followings of recent years - gathered a posse of like-minded artists to create their fourth album, Shook. Stacked with guests spanning icons through to future stars, Shook is a lightning rod for an elusive yet universal energy and feeling. A plurality of voices; a spiritual and geographical homecoming; a strategy of communion in a burning world; the story of an end of a relationship; an Atlanta front porch summer party. Ultimately, it's a 17-track set of the most mind-expanding and thrilling music that you are likely to hear anytime soon.
Algiers have always been unflinching, but Shook is at the same time notably joyous and celebratory. It was born when Fisher and Mahan found themselves back in their native Atlanta for several months, reeling from growing pressures and burnout as touring musicians. This triggered an intense period of beatmaking, reconnecting as friends over hours immersed in episodes of Rhythm Roulette and Against the Clock and descending deep into alt-rap YouTube rabbit holes. A revisit of DJ Grand Wizard Theodore’s 1970s punk-infused New York City rap masterpiece ‘Subway Theme’ served as a spiritual moodboard for the album’s cross-pollination of urban and counter-culture styles. Across the seamlessly flowing set, including spoken vignettes and ambient instrumental segues, the band pay respect to a sprawling lineage of rap and punk iconoclasts from DJ Premier, DJ Screw and Dead Boys to Lukah, Griselda and Dïat – chopping and screwing beats on a dusty SP-404 and a Sequential Circuits Tempest, building imagined sample libraries from scratch.
The accomplishment of this record is made all the more impressive by the fact it was made by a band who were falling apart and on the verge of breaking up. But instead they have produced an extraordinary, transformative record born from a shared sense of place and experience.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Part electronic industrial, part post-punk. Algiers have always managed to dodge genre constraints, with an off-kilter angular groove and uncompromiosing electronic intensity. It's impressive then that their diverse range of guests only serves to further widen the boundaries of their sound.
1. Everybody Shatter (ft. Big Rube)
2. Irreversible Damage
4. Cleanse Your Guilt Here
5. As It Resounds (ft. Big Rube)
6. Bite Back (ft. Billy Woods & Backxwash)
7. Out Of Style Tragedy (ft. Mark Cisneros)
8. Comment #2
9. A Good Man
10. I Can’t Stand It! (ft. Samuel T. Herring & Jae Matthews)
11. All You See Is
12. Green Iris
13. Born (ft. LaToya Kent)
14. Cold World (ft. Nadah El Shazly)
15. Something Wrong
16. An Echophonic Soul (ft. DeForrest Brown Jr. & Patrick Shiroishi)
17. Momentary (ft. Lee Bains III)