For fans of: Idiosyncratic rap music with rough and tumble beats.
What they're saying: As the Pitchfork review at the time of its release suggests, "The Cold Vein" is like a negative image of commercial hip hop, full of everything that DJ's would cast aside; harsh 8-bit samples, beats like granite boulders, erupting synthesizers and a rough electro-industrialism. (There is another great look back at that record and scene published on Medium.)
What we say: Finally reissued on LP after being out of print for 15 years! This tough-as-nails indie hip hop album from 2001 sees producer EL-P cut his teeth on brutalist and bludgeoning tracks that would inform his own 2002 solo album, and in later years, Run The Jewels with Killer Mike. All of this topped off with the dynamic contrast of it's two MCs, Vast Aire and Vordul Mega, who paint a vivid and dystopic science fiction-informed picture of American urban life. (JP)
Further listening: Digging back into the excellent Def Jux catalog, particularly early El-P productions ala Company Flow.