Guest Reviews: Themselves

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Keeping track of the ever-fluctuating Anticon roster is no easy task, but the name Themselves continues to ring out, even though the pairing of label founders Doseone and Jel hasn’t produced a proper album for more than six years. While the Oakland duo’s 1999 debut, Them, and 2002 follow-up, The No Music, helped put anticon. on the map, subsequent years have found Doseone and Jel occupied with projects like 13 & God (in collaboration with The Notwist) and Subtle, not to mention their respective solo efforts. Now in 2009, Themselves is again front-and-center. The pair recently dropped theFREEhoudini mixtape, and a new album is slated for later in the year. We recently caught up with Doseone on tour and asked him to tell us about the tunes Themselves have been bumping on the road.

The Long Lost
Woebegone (Flying Lotus Remix)
Ninja Tune/UK/12

We checked this one in the van, set against the deserts and deliberate constructions of the Las Vegas outskirts. The music proved cooler than Vegasness. I had never heard Alfred Darlington’s wife sing so I was excited. She throws a lovely voice indeed, and Flying Lotus’ beat is dope proper. Reminds us of the classic DJ Krush I used to bump in my youngs.

Essential Entertainment
Softspot Music/US/7

A friend passed me this reissue, and although this is not the color of music I usually bump, it sounds fresh. At first I thought it was a little derivative; however, considering that this record was cut in ’81, I am sure it’s a case of the creative chicken before the egg—these guys are a good egg preceding all the post-post-punk chickens I have since heard.

Flying Lotus
L.A. 2x3

This record is the raw. More importantly, it’s a meet-and-greet for L.A.’s new blood-in beats—a must cop. Ras G’s remix—this dude is kinda the bee’s knees! His beats are just plain thick and I haven’t really heard anything quite like what he is doing... so damn ruff, my neck just starts nodding, and my head catches up. I loved the drone and ambient splay as well.


Not a conventional “single” to begin with, but where are the lines today, anyway? This 10-minute beat sampler is as raw as the stuff found on the Lotus 12”. Sluga being a 19-year-old kid from Bath, England is even more surprising. The mix throws in a new stomping beat almost every minute, each one as neck-straining as the one before it. Keep an eye on this kid.