Adventures in the Counter-Culture

Blueprint's sophomore album has been a long-time coming, arriving six years after his 2005 solo debut, 1988. The Columbus, OH rapper/producer has kept busy in the meantime, teaming with RJD2 and fellow OH resident Illogic in the groups Soul Position and Greenhouse, respectively. With Adventures in the Counter-Culture, Printmatic makes a conscious move beyond boom-bap as a solo artist. The self-produced album spans a startling sonic range, borrowing from electro, Krautrock, techno and everything in between. "Fly Away" is driven by cavernous new wave hi-hats and twinkly keyboards, while "The Rise & Fall" compresses Detroit techno into a sprightly dance floor mover. The minimalist thump of "Keep Bouncing" grounds Print's frank and hilarious assessment of alcohol's social function, while he forgoes rapping altogether on the hooky, handclap-fuelled electro pop of "So Alive." The imaginative production is anchored by Print's plainspoken rapping, lending gravity to every line; it's to his credit that anti-crossover creed "Radio-Inactive" never gets preachy, as he reflects, "Make it more commercial, Print, you probably would sell more/But I'm eating now, so I'm like, 'what the hell for?'" Overlooking a few weak choruses, Adventures is an inventive, cohesive listen that imagines promising new directions for the genre. This was well worth the wait.
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