Brooklyn’s resident sci-fi boom bap impresario El-P is back with the third installment of his Weareallgoingtoburninhell series, this one an entirely instrumental affair. It’s hard to think of a more remarkably consistent hip hop producer over the past two decades. From the early lo-fi days of Company Flow to the grimy synth palettes of the now, El-P is an artist with a sound all his own that one can recognize within the first ten seconds of the beat dropping.
Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3 is El-P at his weirdest and finest, a dystopian symphony of other-worldly drums, funk horns, and brilliantly-culled samples. “Time Won’t Tell” triumphantly shifts and evolves, creating entirely disparate moods in the span of a three minute track. Each song shows hints of where El-P has been and where he plans on taking things from here on. “Meanstreak (In 3 Parts)” and “Whores: The Movie” would have fit nicely in the seams of I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead. “He Hit Her So She Left” begins with what could be the score to a horror film then builds with maniacal drums and elements of psych-rock into a superbly dark composition.
El-P announced some months back that Definitive Jux, the label responsible for some of the most wildly-innovative post-millennium hip hop, would be going on hiatus. While this leaves a number of artists’ future releases up in the air, it also means El-P can fully focus on his music unencumbered by the business side of things. If Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3 is any indication, this newfound freedom should allow the creative juices to flow toward uncompromisingly original cinematic soundscapes that will keep El-P one of the most sought-after producers for years to come.
Song you’ll remember in five years: “Time Won’t Tell”