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Boomkat Product Review:
For way too long SpaceGhostPurrp has been a secret that only those really in the know had the chance to indulge in. His 90s-obsessed sludgy take on rap music quickly carved him a mercilessly original niche in the bloated blog-mixtape scene, and his unpredictable style made him impossible to ignore, yet there was something peculiar that kept him at arm’s length from the mainstream. Yeah he may have been part of the A$AP Mob for a minute, but Purrp’s black metal stylings, seven minute long tracks and endless samples of Mortal Kombat and pitched-down trains or rain made the rapper/producer an outsider in his own scene. It was only a matter of time then before someone picked his tunes up, and we always had a feeling it wasn’t gonna be a regular rap label – nobody would have predicted it would be 4AD though. Thinking hard about it, it makes perfect sense – from the early neo-gothisms of the label’s 80s catalogue through to Zomby’s haunted, fuzzy electronics there’s a thread of musical exceptionalism that adds SpaceGhostPurrp to a long line of innovators. The tracks featured on ‘Mysterious Phonk’ are remastered and sometimes reworked versions of tracks from Purrp’s ‘Blackland Redux’ and ‘God Of Black’ mixtapes (with a couple of brand new additions just for the hardcore), and they’ve never sounded better. The almost stifling lo-fi qualities of the original tapes bolstered the atmosphere but didn’t exactly allow you to play tracks independently, no matter how good they were – and now everything has been spruced up with a tidy top end and bass to match. Unusually however, the spine-chilling doomy textures have been dropped altogether, with the late-night Burial-esque rainfall and Youtube-ripped train chugging relegated to allow the creepy FM synthesizers and woozy sci-fi bleeps to take centre stage. This is a controversial decision for fans of the tapes, but the tracks don’t suffer too much – the grimy loner vibes are still there, just fattened up to (hopefully) attract a few heads put off by the saturated quality they used to exert. ‘Mysterious Phonk’ is a stunning collection of tracks from one of the decade’s true originals – fans of Burial, Main Attrakionz, A$AP Rocky and even El-P would do well to check this without delay (and then grab those mixtapes…). Huge recommendation.