Dimlite DimlitePrismic Tops
In recent years, instrumental hip-hop has stopped being a one-sided appendage—often a barren one—of rap, to become one of the most fruitful, flowering gardens in the electronic countryside. Viral wonky mutations have infected the ganglions of the new batch of producers operating on the British Isles and in the darkest garages in Los Angeles. Anyway, this heady brew of futurist psychedelics is cooking not only in California, England and Scotland. Corners of the world like Switzerland, which would seem to be far removed from this whirlwind of Martian b-boys, with its cows, big tits, watches, and milk chocolate, have also heard the call of the new beat-making. Dimlite is responsible for putting Switzerland on the map of new instrumental hip-hop. And it isn’t just a passing craze. It’s been around for a few years now, even before many of the others who are being crowned with laurels now. Since 2003, Dimitri Grimm has been on the road to excellence, with jewels of a visionary power (remixes included) which, although not as noticeable because of the surge of new beat-makers, deserve a great respect. “Rumbox Weathers” (2005) and “This Is Embracing” (2007), his first two LPs, served Grimm to soften the lines of an inimitable universe and to gently liquefy a style that he used in the seven tracks of “Prismic Tops,” like the sinister, devastating bomb that the Predators hide in their bracelet.
In these days when we are inundated with nouveau hip-hop and bastardised wonky, you need a sharp nose to be able to tell the fast food from the caviar, and you especially have to appreciate such fascinating, personal projects as Dimlite’s. Praise them. Give them relevance in the face of the avalanche of alleged new talents. And there is beluga here, not some fucking onion rings, let’s not forget that. In a little more than half a dozen pieces that are impossible to categorise and with a jazzy spirit, Grimm plays with watery textures without fear of the sound slipping through his fingers, treading with implacable confidence and nerve on the synthesising of dangerous rhythms, shifting sands of experimentation, venturing where few would dare to go. He moulds the beats like play-dough, making them malleable, lax, oscillating, but without losing his course, with a coherence that keeps him from being accused of being pedantic or intellectual.
The crepuscular beat with the helium-filled robot voice of “Sun-Sized Twinkles” –a mixture of Madlib, Flying Lotus, and Prefuse 73 with a style overdose– is an unmistakeable introduction: it’s from another planet. We hear the voice again in “Elbow Food,” but this time, with a funereal tone, wrapped in a psychotic funk production that progresses, mutates, and takes on kaleidoscopic shapes. The psychedelics slide in smoothly, overwhelming your senses, taking over the legacy of Mouse on Mars and J Dilla in “Rump Studies” and, especially in “Kalimba Deathswamp / Kurt Feelings,” five minutes of syncopated orgasm that smells like silicon and rocket fuel. The glitches, unsynchronised beat boxes, and vampire atmospheres reach their maximum expression in “Vomit (O.D.N.),” but where they are their most expressive is perhaps the 80 seconds of “Can't Get Used To Those,” that is: ultraconcentrated cybernetic latin soul for Dudley Perkinsfans. The best thing is that the material of this album-not-album made up of the best throw-aways from a work originally called “Prismic Valuta Rising,” which its record company at that time, SonarKollektive, refused to release, is nothing more than a spark of the fire that is yet to come. I can hardly wait to burn in its strange hell—the best full-length of these Swiss aliens is near. Very near. Óscar Broc