Thursday 15 January 2015

Review of 'Fashion Week' by Death Grips

Fashion Week is the brand new surprise instrumental album from Death Grips – everyone’s favourite trolling experimental hip hop group who last year announced on the back of a napkin that they were breaking up. Despite disbanding, Death Grips have been continuing to put out new music. They released a single called ‘Inanimate Sensation’ in December. Now they’ve released this record. They have another half-album called Jenny Death scheduled for release soon.

Being a Death Grips fan is difficult because you never have a clue what the fuck’s going on. As part of their breakup announcement, the guys did say they were going to release Jenny Death as their final album, but there was no speak of any additional instrumental album. This record’s come completely out of the blue. It could have been recorded prior to the band’s breakup. It could have been recorded after (have they really broken up?). Hell, it could have been recorded in the future and sent back in time for all I or anyone else knows.

Apparently, Fashion Week is a soundtrack but what it’s a soundtrack to has not been specified. Being wholly instrumental, there’s no shouty-rapping from MC Ride. However, your parents are still unlikely to understand this album. Drummer, Zach Hill, and producer, Flatlander, keeps things avant-garde. There’s lots of disorienting phasering and pitch-shifting thrown into the mix and the final ‘Runway H’ contains some of group’s heaviest, most warped bass – suffocating enough to make you feel like you’re drowning in a bottomless swamp.

I was hoping to avoid having to name tracks in this review because the titles all have annoyingly similar names. The purpose of this, as can be seen below, is so that the final letters of each track when read together spell out ‘JENNY DEATH WHEN’. Speculation has been made that this could be hinting the release date of Jenny Death to be London and Paris fashion week held between the 12th and 20th February.

Even if this album is just supposed to be a teaser in the build-up to Jenny Death, it’s still pretty solid as a record on its own. Some of this is Death Grip’s catchiest material. Whilst it sonically pushes boundaries, there’s also a lot of welcome melody and repetition here. At times I could imagine a lot of these tracks playing in the background of an intense spacey video game. Is that what this is a soundtrack to? Are we going to get a Death Grips video game? You heard it here first!