Phosfiend: Guilty Machines

 

 

Thank God there’s still originality in rap. Since it’s formation it’s always been highly contentious. Soul Train host Don Cornelius didn’t even regard it as a respectable form of art.

These days, it can be difficult to argue against that point. With thotcore and mumblecore dominating the scene, hiphop can seem to be leading the race to the bottom of the barrel, but that’s really an unfair and frankly ignorant stance to take.

Right off the bat, Phosfiend’s voice stands out as excellent. At first it seems like the type of voice that would fit perfectly in a metal band, so to hear that voice dedicated to rapping is a welcome juxtaposition. His unique vocal style give his songs an almost operatic tone.

The music varies wildly from a moog synthesizer, to heavy or reverbed out guitars, to bizarre sounding sitars. Everything is experimental, yet familiar.

The best way to describe his music that it is the 00’s sound. Not the mainstream sound that we remember, but the sound that we will nostalgically recall.

For example, everybody says that synthwave is the recreation of 80’s music. It’s not. It’s the nostalgic recreation of the ideal 80’s music, of those B movies that always promised a terrible, scary monster, accompanied by that infamous arpeggiated synth, but just delivered a guy in a rubber suit and overused stock music.

Phosfiend does that with the 00’s music; reconstructs the ideal, not the actual. For example, those rock-sounding vocals and the heavy guitars in Mad God seem like they could fit with any nu metal band of the 00’s–except that they wouldn’t. Nu metal offered a fusion of hip hop and heavy metal, but ultimately ended in a cringe-fest. Phosfiend– very much like synthwave–nostalgically recreates and delivers on the promises of the that scene, giving his listeners something they can’t help but feel they’ve been waiting for.

From the emo guitar in 2 Woke 2 Cope, to the lyrics of Guilty Machines discussing theology, every song is a fulfillment of what was 00’s aggressive music promised but never delivered.

When I think of that time I’ll always remember playing MK4 with friends late at night and listening to Papa Roach. Mad God (my favorite track on the album) seems to amalgamate these various sounds and invokes those feelings of nostalgia in a way that a lot of pop music can’t. It’s a sound that only somebody who lived and breathed in this century’s first decade can understand. It’s not something a studio hit-maker can produce on a whim. An excellent album worth checking out. I give it my recc