Reviews

Vex'd

If musical styles are skyscrapers, then Degenerate is the sound of towers falling. Though it traverses the ruins of dubstep, industrial, hip-hop, and jungle, the album is mostly defined by its aggressive sparseness, the product of the pair's Timbalandesque reverence for between-beat space. It's so desolate there isn't even a place offered to a posturing, wordplay-deficient MC anywhere over the course of its two discs. Vex'd instead captivates via its beats, which aren't merely broken -- they're uneven. Crisp drum sounds boom, clap, collapse, and repeat hypnotically with only the simplest of accompaniment (a ragga sample here, a K-hole bass line there, an impression of a melody over there, and white noise all around). It's the sound of now: shocking, awe-inspiring, and post-absolutely everything. If nothing else, it should keep the cockroaches happy.

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Rich Juzwiak