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Billy Woods ‎— Dour Candy

Billy Woods ‎— Dour Candy

Regular price $275.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $275.00 USD
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Extremely Limited only vinyl pressing ever made! White Vinyl / Limited to 300!

Side A
A1 Prologue
A2 The Undercard
A3 Gilgamesh (Featuring – L 'Wren)
A4 Redacted (Featuring – Elucid)
A5 Manteca
A6 Central Park (Scratches – DJ Addikt)
A7 Poachers (Featuring – Elucid)
A8 One Thousand One Nights
A9 Tinseltown

Side B
B1 Tumbleweed (Featuring – Aesop Rock, Elucid)
B2 Hack
B3 Fool`s Gold (Featuring – Elucid, Moka Only, Open Mike Eagle)
B4 Pro Wrestling
B5 Lucre
B6 Cuito Canavale

For somebody who recorded a grip of tracks in 2003 with Cannibal Ox's Vordul Mega on his debut album (Camouflage) and spent the ensuing 10 years writing and recording his ass off, Billy Woods has spent a long time laboring under obscurity, even by indie rap standards. It's really up to bad timing-- Woods came into his own at around the same time younger listeners weren't having any of this "underground rap that's not for partying" business. But Woods has stayed busy. He runs his own label, puts out his own vision, and maintains camaraderie and connections with all the dedication of a restless idea machine. His last album, 2012's everyman-firebrand gem History Will Absolve Me, gave him a renewed mission-driven identity after a few years sharing the spotlight in the group Super Chron Flight Brothers. But as someone who tends to keep his face deliberately obscured in his promotional photos, Woods keeps tabs of what that identity looks like from the outside, and does what he can to claim it and own it to the point where it stays legitimately whole.

If History Will Absolve Me was a "political" record, then Dour Candy is its reflection, outlines of a day-to-day existence under all the toil and thought. Woods is a reference-heavy MC who tells stories from multiple angles and keep things evocatively multi-layered no matter how many asides and metaphors he tosses in. This is a record about doing shows, getting wasted, having sex, watching over the city-- stuff that gets so much play in lyrics that it's good to have a reminder that these things aren't actually mundane. They uplift you or they wreck you, sometimes one after the other, occasionally simultaneously.

And Woods has the words to back that up. When he's straightforward, he's a powerful scene-setter: the outset of "The Undercard", a narrative about the run-up to a live gig appearance, is filled with you-are-there details. When he gets abstract or free-associative, like he does with the hazy connections of "Tinseltown" or "Manteca," there are phrases that stand out-- "Optimistic?/ Every morning between my first sip of coffee/ Last digit on my scratch off ticket"; "Knot in my sock, pot in the lungs, black on the skin/ Cops on the block, hands on their guns, piss in the wind"-- and keep the listener oriented and looking for those same insights in the more tangled syntax. But he doesn't spend a lot of time stuffing in unnecessary words; he's deep, but efficient.

The record's biggest draw for those unfamiliar with Woods is the fact that Blockhead produces it in its entirety. Given his extensive history with intricate MCs that demand close, repeated, interpretation-searching listens -- particularly Aesop Rock (who turns up at his allusively weirdest here on "Tumbleweed") -- it's easy to see how a team-up like this could come to pass. And Blockhead's production is integral to upholding Dour Candy's ruminative momentum. Sometimes it's on multiple levels. It's no coincidence that Woods drops Clipse references on "The Undercard" over a grimier mutation of the sampled riff from Til the Casket Drops opener "Freedom". More often, it's as simple enough as maintaining the sense of oddly melancholy cartoon futurism that comes with his best work-- slow-floating space graveyard drones on "Gilgamesh", eye-darting prog synths and ghostly wails on "Manteca", fourth-beer mariachi-soul horns weaving through "One Thousand One Nights". All in all, it completes a clearer picture of an artist who still hasn't let a lot of other people speak for him.

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