Thursday, March 19, 2009

Serve or Suffer

by Esoteric

At some point in the last couple of years, it has become very fashionable and cool for people to admit to a love of comic books. What was once a source of scorn (or worse, pity), has become part of the zeitgeist like never before, and has created new avenues for artistic expression.

There's always been a link between hip-hop and the comics - just listen to anything by the Wu-Tang to see it, but on this project, Esoteric moves that connection to a new level. Borrowing a page or two from MF Doom, Eso samples from a variety of the old Marvel record/story books, although his focus is very much on the Avengers instead of Doom's Fantastic Four.

Throughout this project, Eso weaves these Marvel samples, along with a ton of other things, into his sonic soundscape, creating better beats than I've ever heard from him. It's a good thing that he kept this album as largely instrumental - these pieces aren't written with an MC in mind - they are more for showcasing his talents on the boards.

Esoteric really lets his geek flag fly throughout this project - the album is dedicated to Jack Kirby, and it looks like one of his illustrations that graces the cover (also paying homage to Joe Satriani's 'Surfing with the Alien' album). The only truly questionable move on here is 'Boba Fett Thrills Me Still', which at least is at the end of the album, saving me the need of skipping over it.

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