Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Constant Utopia

Since they started doing interviews, The Constant Deviants have told people that they had two full, unreleased albums recorded: one from '95-'96, and one from '97-'99. This one, Concrete Utopia, is the '95 one and it's pressed and available now on double vinyl from Six 2 Six Records.

Like I wrote in my review of their "Problem Child" 12", their music has a real understated feel to. Nothing flashy, just smooth samples, fresh cuts for hooks, and a mellow flow from M.I.C. There's no party or danceable stuff on here, nothing remotely pop, and barely any guests. Only One Speaker Supreme appears on "Violence Interlude," which is pretty much a fresh single verse freestyle over a cool, atmospheric beat.

But that's not to say there aren't any surprises to be found. For starters, the album starts out with an uber-serious song on the horrors of war.

"If I get home, will I remember this?
Medics bag the body, send their names through the system.
My man got hit: grenade victim.
I'm laid in the cut,
Watchin' tears droppin'.
Me and him got drafted in.
Everybody else laughin';
To them, he died for his country.
I wanna know:
Would the president die for me?"

Concrete Utopia
is a perfectly preserved time capsule of the mid-90's scene, so it does have more similes and generic punchlines than it needs: "I blow up spots like Cambodians," "I cut throats like Mexicans," etc etc. But being that it's a time capsule, it makes it almost as endearing as much as it's a drawback. And the quality production definitely smooths over any lyrical bumps the songs have. And DJ Cutt kills it on every single song! Really, at the end of the day, the smooth, head-nodding vibes and Cutt's masterful work are what I take away from every moment on this album. If this is your kind of hip-hop, you're gonna love this, because it's a consistently exemplary example.

And this is all unreleased, unheard material. "Problem Child" and their other singles are not on here. There is an exclusive remix of their debut 12", "Competition Catch Speedknots," though.

This is limited to 300 copies, which... for a double LP in a picture cover is barely any higher than the standard cost of a new album. If you've been a fan of Constant Deviants indie 12"s and radio rips, waiting for their shelved material to finally come out... or if you're just appreciative of the subtler, smarter side of 90's hip-hop, then this is absolutely it. The sound quality is top notch, and the music lives up to expectations. And it's still available (click here), so don't miss out. You'll want to support, too, because Six 2 Six have a lot more in their vaults that we'd all love to see follow in Concrete Utopia's footsteps.


  1. Word !! good honest journalistic writing at it's highest form .. Thanks Werner von -
    1 Speaker Supreme

  2. Maybe this will get Cutt in gear to produce more tracks . thanks for the support

  3. Preme said it best .. Thanks again Werner

  4. The good people from Six2Six were nice enough to send this to me as well, and I love the album! WYDU review coming soon as well, but you said it all pretty well.