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Nausea. Disorienting. Anxious. Unsettled. It is hard to imagine better words for the debut release by post-noise rap pioneers Moodie Black. Like the concept of Nausea itself used in existential philosophies of Jean Paul Sartre, the album is a sonic confrontation with the beauty of an unsettled mood, a disconnection with what is everyday and common.
Following up their 2013 self-titled E.P. that herald their mastery of integrating hip-hop styled rap with punishing noise, static, and industrial yet melodic soundscapes, Nausea offers audiences a different vision of what noise rap can be.
Unlike the uptempo tracks found on their self-titled E.P. release (No Blood ft. Ceschi Ramos; Hipster Death; Last Griot ft. Dälek), Nausea reveals a more downtempo, near catatonic, dystopian, and beautiful mood. The band seems to have traded in raw, punishing static force, for more sophisticated ambient sounds and progressions. The album has a dark continuity and holds together well under its half-time rhythmic, head nod inducing pulses.
Lyrics tell a story about the band’s frustrations with mass conformity, societal lack of sincerity, all while also paying homage to the transcendent quality of the human struggle as a meaningful one.
Like the existential concept of Nausea itself, Moodie Black’s Nausea present sonic basic truths about human nature and existence. As its big beats, prodding rhythms, on point lyrical flows, wailing vocals, blissed out synth and dark guitars come crashing down upon us, Nausea upsets our everyday understanding of not only noise rap by shocking us into a new awareness about the genre, but also about what existence more generally, can be.
It’s hard to say that you just listen to this album. It’s better to say you experience it. It is a sonic journey.
Listen with caution.