REVIEW: Gangrene’s “Odditorium” (EP)

Photobucket When Gangrene get going, they go in strong. A few months after the release of an album, they have released a 4-song EP called Odditorium (Decon) that just adds to the power that is the Vodka & Ayahuasca album. The samples are not as freaky as they want their personas to be known, the drama and freakiness is in the imagery but the best thing about these songs is how the imagery can be manipulated into whatever the mind wants, and wherever the mind takes itself. Tempos and themes change, samples move in and out and mixes with natural sound, becoming utterly trippy mind movies with references to feces, smells, and who knows what else. This is that grown-up hip-hop stuff with the kind of tricks only capable magicians can do, and I hope the magic continues. Everyone needs to step up to Gangrene’s level.

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SOME STUFFS: Gangrene ready to damage the minds in 2012

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In the group’s first phase, they offered us Gutter Water. In 2012, the proof level is going up with a hybrid that will make it much rougher to consume, but that’s the point. The Alchemist and Oh No have united once more for a new album, and this hybrid spirit is called Vodka & Ayahausca, and joining them on this sonic exploration will be Evidence (of Dilated Peoples fame), Roc Marciano, Prodigy (Mobb Deep), and Kool G. Rap.

The first single, “Dump Truck”, features Prodigy and will make its presence known to the public on or around November 21st, while the full album will be released by Decon on January 24th. Save up.

VIDEO: Gangrene’s “Overdose”

YouTube makes it possible to be grossed out at anything and everything, with limited restrictions. I remember awhile back when I’d do a search for boils, carbuncles, and pus. Oh yeah, I want to see someone at home goosh out boil pus and freak out not only at the sight, but the smell. Then you say “hmmmm, I want to go deeper.” You know how boils and carbuncles work, but when you find a video where someone slices open a cyst and it’s not pus. It might be maggots coming out of someone’s underbelly. Maybe you feel like seeing someone’s welts, still raw. You can smell the alcohol and bandages, the blood and pus. Then you say “wait a minute now, is the camera going into the ear? HOLD UP, HOW COME THAT THING IN HER EAR HAS AN EYE IN IT? HOLY SHIT!??!?!”

Yes, if you spend time on YouTube looking for the sickness, you will love this video by Gangrene. Can I say something though? I love anyone in hip-hop who has the balls to be daring in a genre that has managed to limit itself with standards and self-made restrictions. I want exploration, and it doesn’t matter if the visuals have nothing to do with the music or lyrics. You want to see someone with a boil ring around the anus, or someone with a tumor coming out of a place you didn’t think could grow one. Or worse: a tumor that has hair and is somehow growing a tooth. Now is that an “Overdose” in information? Not sickened? Of course not. In the words of Chubb Rock, don’t worry, it’s hip-hop.

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RECORD CRACK: The Alchemist & Oh No prepare to cut you with 4-cut “Sawblade”

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It seems that with the resurgence of records in the last few years, every other genre was getting knee deep into things and releasing some incredible stuff. Hip-hop, a genre that used to celebrate the idea that when music was released on vinyl, it was “final”, seemed to have taken a backseat as of late, although there have been a few instances of greatness, such as this year’s Freeway & Jake One album. At the end of the year, another hip-hop duo are doing their thing and taking it one step further.

What you see is a sawblade-shaped record, which is what you’ll see when you purchase the Sawblade EP by The Alchcemist and Oh No, who as a team are calling themselves Gangrene The first side features four songs while the B-side features instrumental mixes of each. To make it interesting, none of these songs will be on the duo’s forthcoming full length album, The Sickness, due out on November 9th. The four songs were made specifically for the EP, and who knows, if this record quickly sells out, there may be other ammunition-shaped records to come (or at least one hopes).

You can order your copy of Sawblade here.