Gangrene (Alchemist + Oh No) distill ‘Gutter Water,’ drop lead single

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Three years in the making, the Gangrene collaboration between Oh No and Alchemist is beginning to seep up from the sewers, with a concrete Oct. 12th release date and the leak of first single ‘Chain Swinging.’

The appropriately titled ‘Gutter Water’ makes no bones about its aesthetic: drums smothered in soot, scratches and eccentric and ominous samples snatched from crates around the globe.

First single ‘Chain Swinging’ begins with a vocal snippet describing ‘an endless maze of subterranean tunnels,’ and the pair of local rapper-producers attack the beat like the Alligator Patrol in ‘V’: heavily armed, without mercy and with a wry sense of humor.

After all, neither Alchemist nor Oh No is the flossy type. After coming up under the tutelage of DJ Muggs, the former has spent much of his career perfecting grime. Not the U.K. genre, but the original warped and filthy funk that defined the ‘90s New York sound. Unsurprisingly, he’s become one of hip-hop’s most sought-after producers, working with Prodigy, Jadakiss and anyone who wants to create murky sonics that hint of just having crawled out of the La Brea Tar Pits. While Oh No, the brother of the legendary Madlib, has built a career on a bedrock of video game samples and dirty dusted slabs of psychedelia excavated from Ethiopian and Turkish record bins.


Slated for release on rising power Decon (Freddie Gibbs, Jay Electronica, Black Milk), the album features guest spots from their ideologically inclined brethren, including Raekwon, Guilty Simpson, Evidence, Planet Asia and Fashawn. Though the pair’s ‘Under Siege’ appears not to have made the final track list, I highly recommend the video released last year for the song, which, despite its lack of a Steven Seagal guest spot, reveals a surprisingly droll sense of humor.

--Jeff Weiss


MP3: Gangrene (Alchemist + Oh No) ‘Chain Swinging’ (left click)