Published Nov 20, 2018Justin Pearson, mastermind behind noise rockers the Locust, first teased Planet B back in 2015. Fans were surprised to hear that the two songs he released on SoundCloud featured hip-hop and industrial beats, courtesy of producer Luke Henshaw (First Power Crew). The finalized product is no less punishing than anything the Locust ever put out, only this time it's the sound of a hardcore-infused drug rave going at four in the morning in the basement of a warehouse.
Planet B better get used to being compared to Death Grips, as well as fellow freaks Ho99o9 and the Qemists. All three acts are indebted to the Prodigy, but Planet B separate themselves by putting extra effort into delivering a cohesive album, rather then a collection of mixed samples. "Join A Cult" is an improvement on its original SoundCloud mix. The Kool Keight cameo in "Crustfund" adds energy, and the cover of Depeche Mode's "Never Let Me Down Again" is a great touch. Even when the electronic edge gets too sharp, like it does in "Mirror Mirror, On the World," it's only in service to the record's atmosphere. Planet B is not meant to be listened to comfortably.
Luke Henshaw deserves special credit for making Planet B work. Few hip-hop producers could have harnessed Pearson's bizarre tendencies, but he's managed it and did so without losing sight of the chaos. The grimy world of underground rap-rave just got some new jams. (Three One G)