It all adds up to a remarkably visceral, sensual, confident electronic record that stays absorbing from beginning to end, and should finally catapult Hopkins to stardom in his own story.
Throw it onto the list of recent albums, like Heems’ Eat Pray Thug and Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, that take personal, political and temporal stock of our lives and refuse to be one-dimensional in chronicling these experiences.
Hip-hop's earliest records often relied on faded, scratchy source material run through entry-level equipment. Even as technology advanced, the grain and the gristle stuck around-- sometimes out of necessity, sometimes as an extra ingredient. Over time, those aged, decaying sounds burrowed their way underground to crop up in pockets of IDM, dubstep, and indie hip-hop, resulting in music, built around texture more than bass or treble, that often sounded ragge d at birth.
Listening to Selected Ambient Works 85-92, one can’t help but imagine the seeds being planted in the imaginations of the lucky few who were there when it all began.