I’ll be honest; I had every intention of diving into ArticulatedTexTiles the moment it landed in my inbox. I’ve had a tradition that began during the early days of COVID when long walks were my daily escape. Whenever a new Controller 7 project came my way (which, lately, has been at a steady cadence), I’d slip on my headphones and embark on a journey, immersing myself in the record, undisturbed, from start to finish. Yet, life’s demands kept me from giving this album the focused attention it deserved.
In a curious twist, I tried to set the mood for my inaugural listen by loading ArticulatedTexTiles onto my phone ahead of a recent European vacation. As a nervous flyer, I thought this album would be a nice distraction from my in-flight jitters. However, I found myself having to abort the mission after just two songs when Video Dave‘s eerie repetition of “Sometimes I wonder if this plane is gonna stay in the sky” triggered my superstitious side. I’ve been known to switch off songs by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Buddy Holly (folks who died in plane crashes), and Don McLean (I always thought “This’ll be the day that I die” was incredibly creepy) if I heard them en route to the airport.
This week, I finally carved out the time for that long-awaited walk and gave this album the undivided attention it deserves. What I discovered was an exceptional piece of work.
While Video Dave was a relatively new name to me, I’d heard positive chatter about his talent, and now I understand why. He has a way with words, and keeps things interesting throughout the entire record, changing his style frequently, and matching the energy of the music. As previously mentioned, Controller 7 has been on a creative spree lately, with notable releases like Billy with Buck 65, Couch with Mestizo, exhale01, exhale02: moments, and now ArticulatedTexTiles. The album even boasts guest appearances from the likes of Open Mike Eagle and MC Paul Barman.
Controller 7‘s production on this album is nothing short of excellent. The beats are polished, imbued with a classic Prince Paul vibe, and brimming with creativity. Keep an ear out for the nod to De La Soul on “ThePlugTune“. This entire record is a work of art. One of the best-crafted hip-hop records I’ve encountered in recent memory.
Stream/buy ArticulatedTexTiles here.
Check out all the recent Controller 7 releases here.