Elevate Difference


Playing in subway stations wasn’t that fun for us
At first it was, but now it’s getting old
First it was, but now I’m getting cold
- “Playing in Subway Stations”

I owe my fascination, adoration, and patronage of Anticon artists to my friend Nick. The most taciturn person I know, he is also the reason I became vegan. Not particularly conversant, he may not even know either of these things, though his quiet example has been profound and influential. Anytime a new artist emerges from this collectively-owned Bay Area record label, thanks to the Nickness, I am inclined to give it a spin. More often than not, I greatly enjoy my selection.

Serengeti and Polyphonic are no exception. S&P—David Cohn and Will Freyman—don’t really sound like other hip-hop, and generally speaking, this can be said of any genre-bending Anticon artist. Falling into what seems to be the “avanthop” genre—one loosely composed of elements from jazz, hip-hop, and electronica—Terradactyl is a fabulously disorienting yet cohesive album. It isn’t for everyone, but what great art really is? Half-rapping, half-meandering conversations fill the space between samples and disjointed melodies. Song topics include: modes of transportation (buses, trains, legs), thievery, negativity, hustling, Jesus, and one’s own patriotism (or lack thereof). Stateside, they’re touring through the end of October. European dates for 2010 will be announced soon.

I used to think it was stupid to believe in dinosaurs—not because I think the Bible trumps science, just because I think dinosaurs are a slightly annoying fixation in an age of modernity. Nevertheless, I’m quite taken with Terradactyl, even if it lacks the letter “p.” Maybe a Mesozoic misspelling was just what I needed to be converted.

Written by: Brittany Shoot, October 23rd 2009