By this point, you probably aren’t too surprised to see these guys on the frontpage. The ever-hardworking Budo Kiba Collective has graced us with another one-off track, “East to Ether,” this time featuring the production of mátås and the words of Strangelove, Amani Fela and The ArchiTek. Probably my favorite aspect of Budo Kiba is how smoothly all their different members are able to collaborate; it’s endless chemistry and no egotism. Anyway, stream away!
“East to Ether” starts off pretty melancholic and glum, probably the least aggro tone I’ve ever heard from the combined Strangelove-Amani Fela brain trust to start off a track (and here, they actually are trading bars, which is a cool new thing I hadn’t heard them do before). As layers of synth are added on top of the pleasantly rattling percussion, the rappers’ combined-verse cadence grows more and more intense and active, though not any more positive-seeming. Probably my favorite sonic element of this track is the first layer of keys that we hear – its mellow yet insistent pulsations guide my interpretation of the verses, and it’s essentially the glue that sits on top of every other layer all the way through. Really, really pleasant stuff. Strangelove leaves us one of the more powerful lyrical punches midway through the track:
but it’s easy to become an unbeliever
fuck it, as long as you keep breathing
The ArchiTek’s verse is equally zen as the first two, not to mention being delightfully gritty at times. This verse feels a little isolated from the rest of the track – the tail end ~45 seconds leads to an ending I find all too abrupt, but I suppose not wanting a track to end is one of the best compliments I can give, right?