Busdriver hits the “Jhelli Beam”

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Busdriver has finished his fifth solo album, the jiggly-sounding Jhelli Beam. Set for release on June 9 on Anti- Records, it features guest spots from Nick Thorburn of Islands, Mikah 9, Nocando and John Dietrich from Deerhoof. In addition to production by Busdriver, the album’s music comes courtesy of L.A. beat scene vets Daedelus, Nobody, Omid, Nosaj Thing and Antimc.

Here’s a portion of the press release:

Busdriver explained the recording process for Jhelli Beam, which was whittled from 30 songs to 13 while he was making the rounds of local Los Angeles home recording studios: “A bulk of the songs were written on planes somehow. I listened to Sublime Frequencies records, Bollywood soundtracks and electronic music rather than indie rock and rap. I was able to shed a good amount of self-awareness that way. Still, this was definitely the most grueling stint of recording that I’ve undergone…I nearly quit doing music twice.”

Lucky for us he didn’t, for Jhelli Beam is both smart and smart-ass, theatrical without being pompous, and, as always, funny as hell. Busdriver’s legendary breath-defying flow teeters precariously on top of samples of classical music, jazz drumming and proggy guitar parts, without ever losing sight of the electronic music that helped define BD’s sound, enthralled fans and stood out from the soggy beats that weighed down much of his contemporaries’ work. Sound schizophrenic? It’s not. The sum of Jhelli Beam’s seemingly disparate parts creates a record that is mindfully engaging and physically palpable at the same time – a wholly unique take on what an underground hip hop album should be.

  • 1. “Split Seconds (Between Nannies and Swamis)”
  • 2. “Me-Time (with The Pulmonary Palimpsets)”
  • 3. “Handfuls Of Sky”
  • 4. “Scoliosis Jones”
  • 5. “Least Favorite Rapper” (feat. Nocando)
  • 6. “Quebec And Back”
  • 7. “Do The Wop”
  • 8. “World Agape”
  • 9. “Manchuria” (feat. Mikah 9)
  • 10. “Unsafe Sextet/Gilded Hearts of Booklovers”
  • 11. “Happy Insider” (feat. Nick Thorburn from Islands)
  • 12. “I’ve Always Known”
  • 13. “Fishy Face” (feat. John Dietrich from Deerhoof)
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