Complex Vol. 1 | Lex Records
Lex Records has put together a compilation to mark their tenth anniversary, thus, ten tracks. Within the compilation is an incredible assortment of hip-hop, electronica and experimental with all of its tastes and smells. We are talking about a hip-hop compilation that touches dials in universes not normally explored. We are talking about a compilation where Doom, Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood get their grimy reverb jungle fluids flowing as they paint a desolate, dystopian landscape for future hip-hop invaders to feel out. Dr. Who Dat? takes us on a “Viberian Twilight” journey that makes one’s body rock like an aphrodisiac floating in timeless space. The stills in between the grooves, the atmosphere created throughout the complex compilation gives a certain place to breathe within the resonating beats spread throughout. Alien sad story gangsters tell their tales of Mars. Soft pianos are overrun by whispering vocal melodies. Turkish melodies mixed with fat lipped spits that regurgitate hard emotions. A review like this, a review with so many comparisons and descriptions is only adequate for a compilation that is equally as descriptive.
The compilation goes fast, as it usually does when something is enjoyed. It’s a funny sort of collision of mouthy rappers covered in glitched out beats and spinning synth rhythms. “Sets & Lights” by Xeno & Oaklander go back to gothic roots bringing together deepened vocals over euro-trash beats. The sort of song to give way to a night of delightful disaster.
It comes together as a wonderfully impeccable soup, breaking away from tradition and handing over what Warp and Lex do so well, individualism and originality. So much so that every song has its own artwork with its own description and credits. Although each artwork is its own, they are all similar enough to be united, which is, essentially what Complex Vol. 1 does. It creates unison of different criteria’s that are certainly unexpected, but as any good compilation does, sound united enough to flow as an individual LP. The collaborations are something that can take the listener off guard, which makes not only for an interesting listen, but one that flows incredibly well. “Neon Neon” takes on a sort of soul feel mixed with elements of Dave Lynch like films. The track floats along with suppressed, emotional vocals that bring back the memory of a young Ian Curtis put through a completely different context, mainly, soul and electronica styled jazz.
This compilation is a wonderful addition to any collection that involves the expansion of beats and midnight drives amongst the stars and littered streets. Something to look out for, something to get lost in and something to celebrate.