Anti-Pop Consortium: Fluorescent Black

Perhaps the most striking thing about the first full-length from Anti-Pop Consortium since their reunion a few years ago is that, if anything, they’re more “electronic” sounding than when they were on Warp Records. Whether that makes sense in print or not isn’t the point—putting the group that did “Ping Pong,” a sample-driven cut with almost Wu-Tang-like execution against most of the material on Fluorescent Black seems like comparing Star Trek and Star Trek The Next Generation.

It’s digital, just as “The Solution” portends.

And so all of the samples here are slick and synth-sounding, for better or worse. But if there was anything I was expecting Anti-Pop Consortium to not do, it was to repeat themselves.

The album starts conservatively but starts moving into ambitious territory quickly, with the middle of the disc actually containing some of its most interesting material, like the quixotic “Born Electric,” which opens with a piano vamp and intentionally off-key singing that blends into a club beat supported by groaning background vocals and ends with a shredding guitar solo.

Make no mistakes, this is hipster hip-hop—you won’t be hearing any of these rhymes on your local urban radio station. But Anti-Pop Consortium remains among the best collectives of the 2000s, and if Fluorescent Black is any indicator, will continue to remain so in the next decade.

In A Word: Solid