It must be pretty busy being Alias. The co-founder of Anticon has taken three years since his last record Resurgam a largely intricate and genre shunning record, to create this new collection of his own brand of beat driven mind-bending tracks. But he hasn’t gathered dust at all, keeping himself in practice producing B. Dolan’s last album and moving back to his hometown of Portland, Maine. Usually a man up for a collaboration, having worked with pretty much every other musical contributor to Anticon, this record is much more personal but still isn’t restrained in terms of rhythm and the usual pounding beats. In fact parts of this album, even foray into more modern influences such as Baths style frantic twiddlings, and even a slight hint of chillwave.

First track ‘Goinswimmin’ is focused around a repeated vocal sample proclaiming “only a fool would ignore this” a grand statement for the record to come maybe, but the track sounds promising combining simple synth chord progressions with a more interesting beat underneath. Following this is the first track to have been released off the album ‘Wanna let it go’ which leads the way as an early album standout with wobbly synths combining with gradually deepening vocal samples and an almost 8-bit video game style bleeping hook. Meanwhile ‘Revl is divad’ sounds like it could have come straight off of Toro y Moi’s ‘Causers of this’ and is probably as close to chillwave as Alias gets.

The album then explores more hip-hop elements, with a lot of these beats practically begging to be rapped over. Not that the lack of vocal matters as Alias is still engaging with his instrumental tracks. On ‘Dahorses’ beats and vocal samples are bounced off each other hypnotically. The track is off-kilter in a good way and keeps the listener on their feet excitedly wondering where the beat will go next. Similarly the assuredly hyper ‘Sugarpeeeee’ doesn’t disappoint using a massive range of sounds from cowbells to wailing vocals samples, while an underlying unmistakable Alias hip-hop beat keeps proceedings in check.

The only track to use proper vocals throughout is ‘Talk in Technicolor’ a slightly dull track that combines slow-jam like beats with suitably pretentious lyrics about “Light rays, prisms and dimensions” it doesn’t really fit with the rest of the album, it’s a bit of a let down really on what is otherwise a pretty strong record. Not that slower songs don’t work for Alias, ‘Feverdreamin’ is a perfectly lovely hazy track, conjuring up images of waves gently crashing to a shore as the sun sets, perhaps a hark from Maine to California where he has resided the past few years.

All in all though, the seasoned hip-hop producer has made another diverse and immersive record incorporating lots of interesting sounds together to make a mesh of old and new. It’s not exactly groundbreaking admittedly, but is definitely worth a listen as it’s always great to see a master of his trade at work.