WHOA. Did not see this coming. Staggeringly well-presented double-cassette compilation of unreleased tracks from the archives of one of our all-time favourite producers: UK graffiti pioneer and Brighton native REQ, whose deep, droning, dub-smudged hip-hop scapes quietly deconstructed and remodelled the genre in late 90s - for those who were listening, anyway. We’re paraphrasing slightly, but it was another avowed fan, Lee Gamble, who said that REQ’s 1997 album One is to hip-hop what A Guy Called Gerald’s Black Secret Technology is to jungle. Like B.S.T., REQ’s music has a strung-out, quiet, reflective, Isolationist intensity to it, it’s music made not for the dancefloor but for intense private zoning… proper head music, unerringly rhythmic but constantly threatening pure ambient drift, and sounding as alien, smoked-out and futuristic today as it did 20+ years ago. Curt, tuff boom-bap rhythms are smeared and smothered into space-curdling abstraction, loops are sustained and hooks repeated for way longer than any right-thinking rap producer would dare - yeah REQ’s music feels, at times, like hip-hop extrapolated into a new kind of minimal B-boy techno. Not to mention the foregrounding of crackle and tape-hiss, reverb and delay, which is rooted in classic 90s sampledelia but clearly prefigures the early 2000s micro/dub experiments of Jan Jelinek, Pole etc and the kind of ultra-spatialised sound design we take totally for granted today. The lost tunes assembled across this set of two tapes feel like tunes too long, too cerebral, too fucked-up to fit in the context or duration of a conventional, commercially released album, and as such they represent REQ at his most bold, idiosyncratic and avant-garde. Seriously, fucking hell, this is nothing short of the MOTHERLODE. I need to have a lie-down.
Pair of pro-dubbed cassettes - 1 black, 1 white - with contrasting on-body prints from REQ's 90's graffiti blackbook. Supplied in a double butterfly case with full-colour double-sided j-cards. Includes download code and a uniquely tagged 'Hello My Name Is REQ' eggshell slap.