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Artists on Artists

Choose Your Weapon (2015)

On 31, May 2015 | In Artists on Artists | By jane

Hiatus Kaiyote Choose Your Weapon

This is no case of three strikes and you’re out—this record is out of the park and into the ether like a m*)&^%cking flying saucer—a third home run. This hat-trick Hiatus review is happening because this band continue to inspire with their cutting-edge never-heard-before juxtaposition of fluid musicality and frequency manipulation that is about as NOW as music could be. If you don’t already know who they are, to get worded up check out the previous reviews of Tawk Tomahawk and By Fire, cause this review is going to stick with the music, exploring highlights from this whopping 18-track masterpiece.

‘Molasses’ and ‘Breathing Underwater’ are standout tracks, microcosmic examples of the album’s ability in its entirety to exponentially evolve before your ears. The effortless use of multi-dimensional polyrhythmic gangster shit guarantees a hot-hard rush one may only attribute to time travel. In the final phase of ‘Breathing Underwater’ an epic transition from an uplifting vocal evocative of Stevie Wonder, floods into a staccato vocal arrangement annotated by the whole band, finishing with flowing melodic sunken-ship synths, like bubbles rising to the surface.

This album is an unpredictable, on the edge of your seat, sonic adventure. ‘Molasses’ features the most innovative and creative vocal arrangement I’ve ever heard. It’s a big call, but absolutely true. Nai Palm delivers, with syncopation and elasticity to melt the brain, in a sexy ‘way-too-much-butter’ kind of way.  ‘Swamp Thing’ showcases the genius of Mavin’s keys, with timeless stylin’ jazz flourishes early on, morphing into fresh new feels, where glitch-hop meets psychedelic, and vocal delays bend time and set the nature scene for melodic bird and animal sounds.

The segue from ‘Swamp Thing’ to ‘Fingerprints’ is flowing and masterful, clear evidence of band-member producer Bender’s command over the ever-evolving human perceptual spectrum as painted by sound. Here the album truly enters a lush realm of depth and sparkle, then suddenly, with ‘Jekyll’, we are rapidly transported through unimaginable shifts and textures. Drum and bass meets Willy Wonka Latin flowing over breathy ethereal choirs of primal, lyric-less, ecstatic-melodic-sweetness … until the storyline drops: ‘Lease this here now sweet peace of mind, always in flight.’ Marble-ball-room-chandelier-shine piano tone levitates the mind into a cloud for the final intimate, sultry, sweet vocal refrain.

‘Atari’, as told by an inside source, incorporates a 6-plus-hour sampling session of the 80s game of that name. From this, they fashioned the impeccable scissor-hand cut to accompany the track. Now you don’t even require an Oculus Rift to lift your shitty 80s graphics to wild 2015 multi-dimensional computer game experience. Instead, just put on this track, and close your eyes. The mash-up sample outro is next-level crunchy-bit hacktastic. It’s full octane hyper-level gamer heaven. Like they’ve discovered the jackpot crack to raise the Hiatus flag of music-hack into an even more mind-bending genre class.

This album deserves your full attention. Every track. Played in order. It is a cohesive artwork with myriad layers that will slowly reveal themselves. It seems trivial explaining it any more when one could just listen and experience the most progressive sonic journey on offer right now. Check it out.


Review written by Aurora Jane for Mojo Junction – ‘Artists on Artists’


Buy your copy of ‘Choose Your Weapon’ on iTunes

Visit Hiatus Kaiyote’s website

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