Alibi V.28 No.12 • March 21-27, 2019 

Sonic Reducer

Various Compilation Volume 1 ()

One day, Anthony appeared at the door to my office. In his hand he held a flash drive. The computing artifact contained all of the tracks from the first compilation record produced by Aeros Independent Studios.

Flash drives are awkward devices. And so this one sat on my desk until another man, this one the mastermind behind the tuneage caught in flash memory, straight up texted me, “Hey Rudy, when are you going to review my record?”

At some point in our discussion, I plugged it into a port on my desktop. What happened next is difficult to describe, but I will try to summarize it here. Then I will give you all the deets, too.

Within seconds of tapping the play button in iTunes and as the intro engaged, I noticed a bright fissure of light coming out of my head and it felt good just as the tuneage exploded all over me. I think this is called blowing one’s mind.

The world seemed holy and something to dance about again. The vibes coming from that compilation did some kinda poetical magic on me as they talked about life and death. The essential beats, the long jams and syncopation needed to deal with a world that is on fire came through the speakers.

Oh and of course, the production slays. Here then are my thoughts on one of the best locally produced recordings that I have heard. And that you should hear, too.

The meta-narrative bent and historiography present in the work of Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar—as well as his direct descendants like Vince Staples and predecessors like Tupac—gives this compilation weight. The voices here are authentic, the observations acute. One could go on and on about that sort of thing in an academic sense but suffice to say that the result is a confident and celebratory display of hip-hop mastery recorded by a group of local humans that really mean it.

• The tracks by Gino Ca$ino and Swagga (especially “Check”) brace the listener for heroic badassery with a self-awareness and deep and dank bass tracks that speak to the night in affective pulses.

• “2 My Enemies” by Spaceboi Kenny feels like the world at 2 in the morning when everything is reduced to the thudding low end of darkness, just before the hope for morning emerges.

• There’re also pure good times a-going to rise jams like “Drank That Shit” by PMF and Kidd, a tune that begins with the incantation-like verse, “I’m on another level/ I’m lifted” as it traces a path to the sky for one starstruck artist.

• There’s a thick and tasty turn toward old-school R&B melodicism on Dremor’s “Turn My Music Up.”

• Plus the rock-killing intro and outro will put you in a frame of mind that makes it totally easy to ignore any other music for at least two weeks.

And that’s just a sample. 27 killer tracks. Serio. I’m sure the radioactive teenagers on Saturn are listening to this mixtape; it’s that hot.