ANALOG(UE) TAPE DISPENSER AND SKECH185 are War Church
Windy City Collective Tomorrow Kings’ SKECH185 still hails as one of the most talented MCs to ever emerge from the city of Chicago. Armed with a constant penchant for uncovering the new sound, SKECH has been practicing standing out since the early 2000’s, moving from exceptional performances in street battle cyphers to genre-creating in the recording booth with a dexterity unparalleled by his peers. Your favorite rappers (with whom SKECH has either toured, shared the stage, and/or competed) revere his severe case of witty and abrasive tongue-in-cheek speak in hard to discover catacombs, and depend on Masonic oaths to keep the secret. Now enter Houston’s Analog(ue) Tape Dispenser, a master craftsman and sonic co-pilot with wav files and elixirs who produced the duo’s critically acclaimed 2011 debut, entitled New Age Middle Finger. ATD’s textures range from hard-hitting and up tempo instrumentals to deep bass and slow-stewing cauldrons of decentered electronic audio. You may have heard him as the sole composer on Milo’s Things that Happen at Night. Five years after NAMF, ATD and SKECH now refer to themselves as “War Church,” and request that you respect them and do the same.
Two things that remains constant in NAMF and the newest War Church offering, entitled Gunship Diplomacy, are its facesplitting candor and its adherence to post-strurctured chaos. Thematically, the duo identifies and challenge what Nietzsche referred to as “the herd instinct,” or the tendency of the current generation to embrace escapism via social media and narcotics as opposed to facing and enduring the world as it is not and have the guile and audacity to recreate it. On “Turn,” amidst the happily somber mood of ATD’s production, SKECH uses semi satire to reveal that which all know but most will never say: the shallow, unadventurous, and ass-kissing nature of many of today’s indie rap artist. “Saturn,” featuring Tomorrow Kings’ founder I.B. Fokuz, casts a dark narrative of Chicago urban violence into the ears of the listeners, where SKECH and ATD illustrate how violent death and nihilism function as the mindless tension that sustains this turf war society. “Downcat,” featuring TK members Lamon Manuel and SKECH185, show an unveiled view of the vicious and carnal social contract of dating and sexual interactions and adequately strip it down to SKECH’s assertion that “She knew I was looking, and that just made her dance more.” Gunship Diplomacy is a breathtaking album, one that can be situated in the burgeoning heavy rap tradition of Billy Woods, Armand Hammer, Clipping., Aesop Rock, and Willie Green, but also holds the sonic components to land in the realm of a TV on the Radio and Radiohead fan’s selections. This is an effort that has landed among the greats long before its release. It is dematrixed reality told ruggedly beautiful, with all of its mess and shitty angst accounted for.