For WHITENOISE, his newest release, Sole takes a surprising turn away from his usual far-left political-theory rhymes and gangster-chic production, offering instead a lo-fi, left-field, all-instrumental album. No longer spitting about Paris communes or the prison-industrial complex, he nonetheless gets his point across through overlaid vocal samples and song titles such as "Military-Entertainment Complex." The result is a stark contrast to the highly polished, Ableton-empowered sounds that have become the standard in experimental beats of late. Sole's creations are built from grainy, pounding kicks, imploded metallic synths and a distinctly industrial aesthetic. For a record whose subtitle promises a distinct lack of dystopias, the soundscape is indeed dystopian — Blade Runner-esque, actually. Its sludgy nature is balanced by tunes like "Tough Love," with its uplifting vocal lines, and "Fallujah," which borders on psychedelic disco-house. "The Right to the City" best encapsulates the experience.
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