Alias

Resurgam

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Heavily influenced by his move back from Oakland, CA, to Portland, ME, Resurgam is left-field hip-hop producer Alias' homecoming album, one that completes what's likely an unintentional trilogy of "personal journey" albums. The homesick Muted came first in 2003, then 2005 saw the release of Lillian, a sweet, family-influenced album credited to Alias with his brother Ehren and named after their grandmother. Resurgam -- a Latin word meaning "I shall rise again" -- features the usual murky, misty, and melancholy touches that characterize Alias' work, but there's also a surprising amount of gentle, pleasant music that could help a mixtape transition from Ulrich Schnauss to Röyksopp. "I Heart Drum Machines" features looping keyboard lines that are positively ethereal, while "Weathering," with special guest the One AM Radio, could be the most "comfy slippers" moment in the whole Anticon catalog. As the Harold Budd-styled piano of "Oakland Morning" gives way to the human beatbox in "MG Jack," Alias reminds everyone why he belongs on the "avanthop" label, but the line between indie electronic and left-field hip-hop has never been so blurry. This just means the album suits the Anticon crowd to a T and could easily seduce newcomers with a taste for the unclassifiable. Putting paranoia and noir to the side for the moment, Alias has created his most welcoming and positive dream world on Resurgam, an album where the creaks comfort and the low cloud cover comes off as heavenly.

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