Sonic Reducer: Alonewulf And Tangling

August March
3 min read
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Here’s a new recording by a local master of far left-field, experimental occult-rap—with some horrorcore methodologies thrown in for sauce—SUMMON. Recording this eponymous work under the moniker ALONEWULF, the artist uses his smoky voice like its source is sulfurous, crispy and yellow, burning bright and hot for a long duration marked by coughing and crying the commingling of spirits.

But that’s a good thing in this case and ALONEWULF puts his new dark theorems to the test on a recording that veers dangerously but hypnotically—therefore compellingly—from side to side of a very steep and foreboding canyon called the self.

Tracks like “SH33P HERDER” demonstrate that the artist is aware of and has reached some kind of acceptance of the vernacular and production popularized by artists like Vince Staples, but still manages to take a twisted root and turn it into another more complicated, but still organic form. All these tendrils that ALONEWULF compiles and piles into his work come together in tunes that are as rich and tasty as black pudding—a sausage lovingly made from blood and flesh.

That becomes clear on the spider silk that tunes like “FANTAZY” and “REMAINTAIN” resemble, webbing that their master uses to defy gravity or travel great distances without moving. The half-buried but deeply consequential instrumental and melodic sensibilities and sparse, haunting rhythmic digressions are absolutely fascinating to listen to and contribute a sound that reveals surrender as a function of command. The tasty flute moments on “SYCAMORE” kill and the seventh track, FREE 2 BEE (feat. A. Billi Free) is as fine as any hip-hop to come out of Burque, ever.

Glitter Vomit Tangling (Self-released)

With a minimalist opening track that seems to describe a psychogeographic strategy that this work uses to find its poetic potency, Tangling begins in a sparse place. That world is located in a plangent place where vocal accompaniment stands for longing, familiarity and frustration.

“Dogs of Lewis” is haunting yet affiliative in its desolation and dry circumstance. The follow-up song, “Sometimes Water,” long of breath but timeless in its taut presentation, continues what seems to be a restless journey, filled with ennui, but somehow, with some sense of wonder attached, too. Jazmyn Crosby, the musical and lyrical force behind the lush and lucid sparkly regurgitate known as Glitter Vomit, is fascinated with noises, dissonance, voices that hum but could shatter glass.

Crosby’s remarkable musicality seems to be rooted in the noise at the very back of the telephone line, in the hum of overhead electrical lines, the sound of grateful voices as the sun rises one more time; at least that last part is what I get from listening to “No Islands,” easily the most beatifically difficult track on this record of wonders and wandering. By the time listeners get to the final track, “Outro,” something in them will have changed; the ears grow more sensitive, the eyes brighten when exposed to this tangled but tantalizing other world.

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