Holy fuck this production is good. Like, fuck! Goddamn! This is that deep shit, that rumbling volcano, crows cawing, hellspawn crawling out of cracked earth shit. It’s that type of production that makes you do that weird cringe face when that hot as hellfire beat drops. I call it the “hot damn that’s that good shit” face. The production on this album has the weight and depth of Timbaland on Bjork’s Volta, the scope of Flood’s NIN production on The Downward Spiral, and the in-your-face-ness of Britany Spear’s “Toxic” produced by Bloodshy & Avant.
Peeling back the skin on albums like these reveals entire worlds of incredible artistry. It takes a well formed team to build sonic waves this fucking big, superhero teams made of musical savants. This team, made up of masters of both art and engineering, is no fucking different.
The Fucking Superhero Team Made of Musical Savants That Made This Shit (A Few Anyway)
Katie Gately co-produced this album alongside serpentwithfeet. In 2016 she put out a self-produced album called “Color”. Katie has an insane gift at fucking up the human voice with computers. She does it in this way that can make you laugh, fearful, or uncomfortably turned on. It’s like Sailor Moon performing standup while licking a bloody razorblade. When serpentwithfeet’s army of harmonies creates a strange tinge within you, blame Katie. She’s a kung fu master at this shit.
Jason Agel is the mixing engineer on this album and has worked with those up and coming lesser-known names like Kanye West, Common, Jay-Z, Prince, Björk (Volta), and Beyoncé. You know, the starving artist types. Jason is webbed into the characteristic sounds that these artists have become well-fucking-known for. Without him, they wouldn’t exist. And like all his work, Jason’s fingerprints is all over this shit like a four-handed man committing a peanut butter crime spree.
You know Paul Epworth. Maybe not by name, but his sound his fucking everywhere. This motherfucker has won five Grammys. That’s right, count that shit out. One, two … fucking five. And he’s not stopping anytime soon. Remember the James Bond song “Skyfall”? Did you get that song in your head cause I wrote the title out? That’s how Paul works. He’s the musical man from Oz working behind the curtain with names like Adele, Rihanna, and Maxïmo Park. He makes “earworm” music. It’s called this way cause it crawls into your ear and never fucking leaves. I have an earworm condo in my head cause of this motherfucker.
Of course serpentwithfeet, aka Josiah Wise, is a huge fucking talent, otherwise this team wouldn’t be alongside him. His voice is cool as shit and I’m pretty sure he could harmonize with a dying truck and still make that shit sound like a team of angels singing Hosanna with sunglasses on. Albums like this are a team effort. They’re made on top of a mountain of collected labour. So when it comes to getting credit for one of the best R&B album I’ve heard in fucking years, it’s the team that should get that rep.