Aesop Rock Daylight

It's barely been a hot minute since Aesop Rock's impressive Definitive Jux debut full-length, Labor Days, and he's already hard at work with some new tracks (and a new tour). Instead of releasing just another twelve-inch single for the Labor Days track "Daylight," Def Jux and Aesop Rock have created a fantastic EP that very nearly puts Labor Days to shame. The only previously released song on this six-song EP is "Daylight," arguably one of the best songs from the album. With "Night Light," a remix of sorts, Aesop Rock touches on similar points as "Daylight," which he quotes/misquotes lyrics from, over a much harder, head-snapping banger of a beat. Still, Def Jux's head redhead, El-P, tops the production of "Night Light" as the guest producer of "Nickle Plated Pockets," a marriage made in heaven that should be consummated more often. Over a perfect Co. Flow beat, Aesop Rock drops observations from the point of view of a man with "a pocket full of nickels." It's most interesting to hear Aesop express his views of his hometown of NYC, post-9-11. Final track "Bracket Basher" bangs almost as well as "Night Light," using a similar theme to "Nickle Plated Pockets," but with more B-boy-isms and a less catchy hook. The a cappella "bonus round" that follows is a nice variation; a great way to finish off the album. In between "Nickle Plated Pockets" and "Bracket Basher" are two songs that don't quite stand out as well as the others. "Alchemy" features Blueprint, who doesn't quite reach the level of Aesop Rock, although a change in voice on the EP is refreshing. The cymbals, piano and spacy effects make for a nice beat, however. The only actual low moment is "Forest Crunk," a blockhead instrumental that isn't so much a low moment as a moment that would have been better as a vocal track. On an Aesop Rock release, especially one with only six songs, I'd prefer to hear Aesop Rock rhyme on, or at the very least produce, the track. Or maybe I'm just looking to find something wrong with the EP. (Definitive Jux)