Magnolius Mary Musth

Magnolius Mary Musth
This album opens with a bang when a momentary a cappella morphs into a breezy drum & bass track, complete with impressive double-time raps, although it's the catchy opera sample that makes "Tusk" standout as an album highlight. Drum & bass surfaces once again on "Ennui Go," this time with a hook provided by the awesomely named Perilelle, but Mary Musth is still mostly melancholy music, a mix of unusual sample choices merged with smooth hip-hop beats. While rappers Shan Vincent de Paul and Derek DaCosta can sometimes come a little abstract (just check out some of the song titles), "Mary Mary" shows they have storytelling skills and "Andrebuild" proves they can battle with the best of them. At only eight songs long, Mary Musth is short but it's also concise and to the point. It's definitely more focused, and darker, than their debut. But best of all is their successful spanning of that sometimes-massive space existing between the disparate sides of tradition and experimentation within hip-hop, moving from one to the other with casual ease. Mary Musth is comfortably familiar yet unique. (PPF House)