Acclaimed abstract hip-hop producer and cofounder of Anticon Records, Odd Nosdam, presets Mirrors, a new LP via Alien Transistor. Composed entirely of found sounds, most of them sourced from rare and private press vinyl, Mirrors' instrumental beats and sound collages pulse with a sense of exploration and rediscovery that has been Nosdam's calling card since the turn of this past century. Its every track presents a treasure trove of unique aural gems, each nestled in atmospheric textures that swirl like a cloud of dust just blown off of some once-overlooked heirloom.
Designed specifically for vinyl, the record's A and B sides play out like a pair of cohesive psychedelic dreams. Yet even a skilled psychoanalyst would struggle to categorize these reveries as either pure seraphic bliss or full-on nightmare. By sneaking strategic bursts of beauty into Mirrors' more sinister beats ("Mirrors I") and by lacing its largely angelic compositions with foreboding tones ("The Burn"), Odd Nosdam has crafted a record that is not only engrossingly nuanced, but that captures a highly specified, often hypnogogic, mental state with breathtaking accuracy: cognitive dissonance. The sensation of experiencing an emotion that runs in direct opposition to one's circumstantial narrative -- a sense of melancholy when things are ostensibly fine, a smile as the world seems to crumble -- may once have been predominately the stuff of dreams. But in our current age of ebullient social media facades, and at a sociopolitical moment when joy feels like an aberrant blip in an up-scrolling sea of horror, Mirrors provides an unsettlingly apt soundtrack to the waking experience of the modern era.
Oneiric interpretations aside, at its core Mirrors is simply a stunning and dynamic beat tape. As he has for two decades -- whether in crafting instrumentals for avant-rap legends cLOUDDEAD and art-rapper Serengeti, sound tracking skate videos for Element Skateboards, or adding to his prolific catalog of solo recordings -- Odd Nosdam uses his special knack for marrying monolithic, lumbering drum arrangements with novel melodic flourishes to create a breed of experimental hip-hop music entirely his own.
An evocative record that seamlessly blends transcendence with menace, Mirrors is a captivating addition to the producer's body of work and one that will continue to leave listeners awed by his creativity, versatility, and his singular vision. Includes download code.