Review : Gangrene - Vodka & Ayahuasca
PotholesinmyblogOver the past 18 months the Gangrene duo of Alchemist and Oh No has been rolling through the Hip Hop underworld like a contemporary version of Oscar Zeta and Hunter S. Thompson. Dispersed through hilarious promo trailers and jarring videos, Gangrene has linked up with old and new rappers branding the willing fan with the corroded jubilance of their sound. Taking the righteous insularity of backpack rap, the compelling grime of street-hop, and the aesthetic freedom of the post-label rap world, Oh No and Al are quietly providing some of music’s most unique and original content. Vodka & Ayahuasca is stronger and more aggressive representation of their hallway piss, bong-rips, leaving the city in a convertible with two dosed up porn bitches to drop hallucinogens on America’s open roads rap… yes, you want more.
The wild elephant stomp of “Gladiator Shit” gets things started like shots of whisky and bar fights with legend G. Rap nicely putting an end cap on the track. Though “Flame Throwers” keeps the rpm’s revved up with a mesmerizing Bollywood vocal chop, it’s the Roc Marci assisted “Drink Up” that will gets the heads dumbin’. The song sounds like equal parts Tron car/bike chase scene and Terminator death scene as minimal slick shit like “I’m built like an Adonis / tilt, I can feel it in the air like Phil Collins” flies out the rapper’s mouths. The lead single “Vodka & Ayahuasca” is full of feedback, turntablism and psychedelic guitar and bass samples, and it captures the title and tone of the record perfectly, subtly moving through one’s speakers like cracked bottles. Yet, it’s the cinematic “Dump Truck” that’s albums Machu Picchu. As the low end slams against the chest, swirling macabre samples fly all over the place and Prodigy reminds us why he is one of the most magnetic rappers to ever pick up the mic: it’s not what’s being said, but P’s clarity and the conviction of his words....full text
PitchforkIt might say something about the way things accelerate these days that it already feels like Gangrene have been around for ages. But tracing their lineage back through last year's Roc Marciano collaboration Greneberg and 2010's Gutter Water brings up a still-recent origin point in the Alchemist's 2009 all-star blowout, Chemical Warfare. The precedent for the collaboration between Alchemist and fellow producer-slash-MC Oh No was strongly established on cuts like "Acts of Violence" and "Under Siege", a couple of cartoonishly sinister tracks that pushed indie/street crossover rawness into a no-fucks-given irreverence about how raw it actually was. If you want a quick-and-dirty idea of what kind of flag they planted, take into account that their equivalent of a funny-wigs "Sabotage" video was footage of them doing violent slapstick spliced into newscast tapes of the Rodney King riots.
So why does it feel like they've been around longer? Besides the fact that Alchemist and Oh No are veteran presences on their own-- the "We Gonna Make It" producer meets the "Supermagic" producer would be a fascinating-enough odd-couple pitch-- there's been a lot of conceptual forward momentum at work in their last two-and-a-half years. If Gutter Water dragged the grimier tendencies of underground hip-hop through a dysentery-infected toilet party and Greneberg was Marcberg's weirdly invigorating hangover, then Vodka & Ayahuasca is a stab at drunk-psych nightmarishness that runs on slasher-flick suspense. Throw in a bit of weirdo grossout comedy-- the intro track has one of the nastiest clips of someone puking I've ever heard on record-- and you've got a good indication of a couple of artists trying to outdo themselves in the outrageousness department....full text
ExclaimThe hip-hop duo Gangrene, consisting of legendary hip-hop producer The Alchemist and fellow producer/rapper Oh No have returned with a follow up album to the 2010 release 'Gutter Water'. Their newest album 'Vodka & Ayahuasca' comes out January 24th via Decon Records
Exclaim! is giving you the chance to win the Vodka & Ayahuasca Deluxe Bundle. The Deluxe bundle includes a copy of the new album on vinyl, an instant download of the album, a limited edition Gangrene T-shirt, a Vodka & Ayahuasca shot glass, and a backlight poster....full text
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