Injury Reserve (USA) | Body Meat (USA)
Perhaps the most unusual, but also one of the most celebrated albums of 2021 was produced by Injury Reserve. A hip-hop trio that had already departed from the mainstream, essentially creating a new genre, post-rap. Meanwhile, they lost one of their MCs – the two remaining members on this tour (the other MC, Ritchie with a T, and producer Parker Corey) attempt to come to terms with the death of Stepa J. Groggs. Expect forward-thinking, ineffably complex music and a cathartic performance.
The Injury Reserve story began in the conventional way, albeit not at a hip hop hub in Phoenix, Arizona: demos, a 2010s update of jazz-rap, solid local success. The trio (Ritchie with a T, MC's Stepa J. Groggs and producer Parker Corey) found their own sound with two mixtapes recorded at a dentist's office, alluding to this fact in the titles (Live from the Dentist Office, 2015, Floss, 2016). This excellent material, which had already attracted considerable underground attention, was followed by a major label deal, and their untitled official debut in 2019 was followed by a world tour, during which they took their already sufficiently abstract hip-hop into the avant-garde during an impromptu DJ set at a Swedish stop. This direction became the defining one for their next album, By the Time I Get To Phoenix, which was more or less finished by the summer of 2020, when Groggs died suddenly and unexpectedly. The album, finally released in the autumn of 2021, is a fitting tribute to the former partner, and in general perfectly reflects the current state of the planet, a world full of closures, turmoil, change, challenges, often dark and without humour. It's an album where all musical boundaries are blurred, where the music is incredibly forward-thinking and where the unforgettable production work is in perfect harmony with the lyrics. The reception of the material has matched this: on the largest community music fan site Rate Your Music, the community has voted Injury Reserve the third best album of 2021, and it is a frequent top performer on year-end review lists. The album's tour is also an attempt to see if the two remaining members can continue over the longer term without their former bandmate.
The evening will open with Body Meat, an American artist playing glitch pop with a mix of synths and a wide range of effects, playing with a variety of electronic music genres.
Who do we recommend them to? Fans of innovative hip-hop; fans of avant-garde pop music in general; those who see rap as an ever-evolving genre.
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