DEATH GRIPS have delivered a new album, GOVERNMENT PLATES, a self released internet only job like they do. The manic beats and electronic out bursts of Zach Hill and Andy Morin are as present as ever. Stefan Burnett’s vicious flow lurks more in the shadows this time around though. Certainly he’s all over the record, and certainly he is as fiery as ever, but it’s clear that his usual spot out front has in some ways purposely been left unmanned on this particular outing. That said, on this new album DEATH GRIPS is still making some of the wildest and most exciting music that I, or we get to hear. The smashing together of experimental electronic sounds, electronic dance music, sampledelic cut up, and hip hop is beautiful. I need more of this level of craft from this particular music arena in my life. Help me out if you know where I should be looking, cuz I do not.
This subversive, confused/confusing (?) crew apparently have another major label record coming out down the line (haha) but we have GOVERNMENT PLATES to deal with for now. And maybe one of us will dig deep into the album soon, but right now I’m checking out the video for the album closer “Whatever I want (Fuck who’s watching).” A flashlight lit video of masked dudes in the woods and in other locales doing… while berserk arpeggios explode into space. Industrial breakdowns from OPN dimensions appear between the bubbling explosions of electronic verse. MC Ride/ Burnett rides the wave at first and then evaporates into the cornfield of the video’s night. His memory remains via sampled rhythmic punctuation built from his voice, primarily the song’s partially titular response to (us), “Fuck who’s watching.” The sounds coaxed to life by Hill and Morin take over, as they often do on this new recording. And I’m fine with it. These guys. Making art (?).