Is it hip-hop or is it jazz? A revolutionary new ideal or a sound versed in tradition? Antipop vs. Matthew Shipp is a radical union between New York City's finest avant-garde hip-hop trio and free jazz's most important young pianist - and it's better than anything those phonies from Philly have put out in a decade.
Antipop , Shipp's second collaborative release in as many months, sees the pianist joined by what is becoming his regular rhythm section: William Parker, Guillermo Brown and Khan Jamal. Those four plus trumpeter Daniel Carter, along with Antipop Consortium emcees High Priest, Beans and M. Sayyid, bring a fresh perspective on the genres they're representing. It's the sort of thing not heard since Bitches Brew and On The Corner.
Shipp's playing on these music battles show the influence that percussive piano players like Cecil Taylor and Thelonious Monk have had on his sound. In addition to the dueling drum beats laid down by Brown and APC, Shipp is often heard banging beats out on his piano, cafeteria-table style, adding to the overall barrage of rhythm that vibrates through the new record. To compliment all this, Parker's bass playing is funkier than ever and his interplay with Guillermo Brown is just about on par with the bassist's many pairing with free drummer Hamid Drake.
Call it what you will - neo-fusion, abstract funk or illbient jazz - but Antipop vs. Matthew Shipp is the sort of stuff Miles Davis could get up for: jazz and hip-hop for the laptop generation.
Places I've Never Been; Staph; Slow Horn; A Knot In Your Bop; svp; Coda; Stream
Light; Monstro City; Real Is Surreal; Free Hop.
Antipop Consortium: vocals, synth, programming; Matthew Shipp: piano; William
Parker: bass; Guillermo E. Brown: drums; Khan Jamal: vibes; Daniel Carter: