Returning to the deft, cerebral sound invented on Tragic Epilogue, Anti-Pop Consortium's first full-length for Warp Records is by far the group's best work to date and takes a strong stride in the fusion of "out" hip-hop and electronic music. Released only six months following the somewhat understated The Ends Against the Middle EP, this completely new group of songs pushes the boundaries of musical structure while still basking in hip-hop authenticity. While the easy comparison would reference Anti-Pop as the Sun Ra of rap, the group's musical sophistication manifests itself as a genuine expression of the limitless possibilities within its composition -- without seeming like an attempt to outsmart the commercial rap competition. So dropping a beat over a ping-pong ball on "Ping Pong" and then rhyming on top comes off as par for the course rather than contrived abstraction, while ironically, the improvement in production and skill here might lead the group into a higher hip-hop strata. Using voices like soloing instruments and orchestrating more chorus-like samples and loops than on previous works, Anti-Pop's sound reverberates quality with each listen to Arrhythmia, a feat of clever artistic strength.
by Nic Kincaid