In the Red


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In the Red Review

by John Bush

The name (DSP), and title (In the Red), evoke glitchy, distorted techno, but DSP (or Dynamic Syncopation), is a hip-hop production duo crafting tracks from the detritus of brassy late-'60s soul (think DJ Premier, or a darker Jurassic 5). Their guest rappers keep up with the great productions, spraying lyrics like Mike Apathy does on "Trife-A-Saurus Rex," or arguing over Brit-inflected speed rapping like the Phi Life Cypher team on "My Verse 1st,." Musically, Mass Influence's "Systematic" and Dell Donahue's "Outtaplace" are the big highlights: a pair of tough-minded tracks with a hint of menacing synth and chunky, three- or four-note basslines. Back-in-the-day rapper Chill Rob G also gets a great feature. Like the best of hip-hop's old-school -- and unlike a lot of underground rap crews -- DSP understand the virtue of keeping it simple.

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