Dark, abrasive hip hop

Sacramento hip hop collective Death Grips are streaming their new mixtape 'Ex-Military' online now.

Hip hop's descent into darkness continues. Odd Future have helped to publicise an abrasive new aesthetic, but Sacramento outfit Death Grips could just have trumped the teenage tearaways with a work of real weight.

Released online, Death Grips' new mixtape 'Ex-Military' is a deeply damaged yet imaginative work. Instead of searching for weight behind the beats, the production - courtesy of Flatlander and Info Warrior - is mechanic to the point of echoing industrial music.

The presence of Zach Hill in the live show adds to the rock connection, but Death Grips could only exist in hip hop. An intersection point for countless new ideas, 'Ex-Military' is impossible to ignore yet difficult to fully absorb.

The beats are matched to distorted vocals, with MC Ride's delivery recalling the demented flow which runs through so much Southern hip hop. Sure, the countless samples - from Black Flag to Pink Floyd - invite reference points and cross sections, but realistically there is very little to hang 'Ex-Military' on.

A genuinely inventive new approach to hip hop, 'Ex-Military' seems to explore the debilitating effects of life in the armed forces while also making a plea for a sense of individuality increasingly swamped beneath technology.

Dark - at times quite distressing - 'Ex-Military' is an unforgettable experience which breaks fresh ground.

Death Grips - Exmilitary by deathgrips

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Check out the Death Grips website HERE.

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