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The English written companion of Fake For Real: reviews, interviews and articles about rap music
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THIRD SIGHT - The Golden Shower Hour

, 18:26 - Permalink

With indie rap, it was not always easy to know where such or such artist, or such or such record, was really coming from. The musical influences were multiple, and sometimes, one's artistic impulses would preclude the necessity to represent a region, a style, or a posture. Let's consider the first album of Third Sight, for example, The Golden Shower Hour, some consider as an underground classic. When listening to it, it is not evident that it is coming from sunny California.

THIRD SIGHT - The Golden Shower Hour

Darc Brothas Records :: 1998 :: buy this record

Actually, it looks more like the futurist, gloomy and Company Flow-like kind of rap which was all the rage in the deepest of New-York's underground, by 1998. Jihad, the MC, Dufunk, the beatmaker, and last but not least, D-Styles, the turntablist (Beat Junkies, Invisibl Skratch Piklz – a man known for much more playful records than this one) were all established in the Bay Area. Nevertheless, this emblematic album of the first years of the indie movement, looked like a perfect translation of the late 90's East Coast's most gothic and cataclysmic rap.

The band's mission was the classic one: attacking wack MCs. And the style was almost pure boom bap, with the rapper's deadpan and precise flow, and an imperturbable rhythmic. But in a very extreme way, with heavy beats, a terrifying austerity (just listen to "The Execution Starts"), and a particularly insane and sinister vocabulary, mentioning things like hostage-taking and gas chambers.

The record benefited from Jihad's deep voice, and the large place left to instrumentals, more particularly the irreproachable scratches of D-Styles, the virtuoso DJ ("Rhymes like a Scientist", "Smegma in D Minor"). It was also remarkably constant, despite the surprising evolutions in some tracks, typical of experimental hip-hop. Sometimes, it was getting almost formulaic ("I Will Never Leave You", "I'm Kinda Vain"). But more often, it was just fantastic and anthological, like with the long and indolent "Rhymes like a Scientist", almost an anomaly on such suffocating a record, and with the incredibly tough "Hostage".

These few tracks were no less than exceptional. And they had to be that great, since it would take no less than 8 years, before hearing again from Third Sight, thanks to Symbionese Liberation Army, another praised release, but an album not as strong and seminal as the fundamental Golden Shower Hour.

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