Reviewing a release from Death Grips is never easy. The biggest challenge with the Sacramento hip hop act isn’t the music itself but how it’s delivered, sometimes in a conventional fashion, other times leaked by the band themselves. So it isn’t surprising that we have Interview 2016 on our hands whilst waiting for the much anticipated Bottomless Pit, evoking the same kind of vibe that accompanied their purely instrumental 2015 release Fashion Week.
Thankfully what we have here is far more enjoyable than the aforementioned prologue to Jenny Death as we get a full frontal audio assault that fires a gatling gun speed and gives zero fucks about it: pretty fitting for the act providing it. Interview B is definitely the highlight of this EP, showcasing the intensity and production expertise that Zach Hill and Andy Morin do so well. The total lack of any MC Ride yells or any vocals for that matter is pretty jarring to start off with though unlike Fashion Week, Interview 2016 is a lot more compact and does enough interesting things to keep any temptations to press the skip button at bay.
However his absence does hinder the album somewhat. While the instruments on display manage to create an eery, dark ambience, an impressive feat by any means, the vigour you’d expect from a Death Grips album isn’t as hard hitting without the cataclysmic and depressing subject matter that Ride manages to deliver so well.
Interview 2016 isn’t the best starting off point for newcomers but for fans of Death Grips, it’s a worthwhile listen to further appreciate the other members of this vibrant act. Just like Kendrick Lamar’s untitled unmastered, even the scraps on the floor for this band prove to be gems regardless.
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