They’re nobody’s buzz bands anymore. But since 1993, MAGNET has discovered and documented more great music than memory will allow. The groups may have broken up or the albums may be out of print, but this time, history is written by the losers. Here are some of the finest albums that time forgot but we remembered in issue #75, plus all-new additions to our list of Lost Classics.
:: ANTIPOP CONSORTIUM
Arrhythmia // Warp, 2002
Conceived as a tape-trading indie label, New York hip-hop trio Antipop Consortium ended up with the résumé of an indie-rock band: a 2001 gig opening for Radiohead, collaborations with avant-garde musicians Arto Lindsay and Matthew Shipp and a pair of albums marketed to the college-radio crowd. But Antipop never catered to any demographic or province but its own, relying on personal taste and the chemistry of its three MCs: Beans (staccato delivery), M Sayyid (quick wordplay) and High Priest (brutish low-end). Second and final album Arrhythmia showcased the group’s often-skeletal musical design—beats made of ping-pong-ball samples, one-note keyboard lines, repetitive musical themes that echoed Sparks and Kraftwerk—and concluded a brilliant career with “Human Shield,” an album-closing statement of unity and the group’s finest moment.
Catching Up: Beans and High Priest have issued solo albums, and the latter teamed with Sayyid for a 2005 LP as Airborn Audio. But, as De La Soul pointed out, three is the magic number; Antipop reunited for live performances in 2008 and has a new album, Fluorescent Black, ready for release sometime this year.