Release Date: Jan 4, 2015
Record label: Third Worlds
Even after calling it quits last year, Death Grips are still finding ways to confound listeners both musically and mentally. In anticipation of the release of Jenny Death (part two of their double-disc effort The Powers That B), cryptic tweets and surprise music video releases have whipped the outfit's fan base into a frenzy. The latest surprise offering from the noisy Sacramento trio is an instrumental record titled Fashion Week, made up of 14 beats all titled "Runway," with a cryptic naming convention that adds a single extra letter at the end.
Remember when Death Grips were as much a band as they were a bunch of agent provocateurs? No slight to the hype cycle-upending stunts they've pulled post-The Money Store—skipping highly anticipated shows (including Lollapalooza), holing up in the Chateau Marmont, sending every fan of theirs a cover-art dickpic, telling Epic to go screw, releasing an album that was supposedly a legitimate Björk collab but presumably merely sampled her voice, breaking up, ditching an opening gig for Nine Inch Nails, maybe not breaking up, and so forth. But even as the sound that made all this relevant in the first place got a fraction of the press as the crazy shit orbiting around it like noisy satellites, the music itself is more notable than the social media gimmickry. Anyone can be an aloof dildo on the Internet; not everyone could bring the trans-genre aggro bravado that those antics were meant to justify at a couple hundred kilobytes per second.
opinion byDERRICK ROSSIGNOL The ubiquity of the internet is a musician’s blessing and curse. Reputations are built and brought down in the time it takes to check Twitter; along with mansplaining, pets and the 1990s, people will talk about music online until their laptop batteries run dry. Even by modern standards, Death Grips’ career has been endlessly dissected on the internet, which could have been an issue for a group so devoted to maintaining an aura of mystery and uncertainty around their goings-on, but despite the unbroken focus and sleuthing of indie music bloggers, nobody ever really knows what the hell they’re up to.
Lone Redditor poaches 8 stray Death Grips instrumentals from producer Andy Morin's website; resulting . zip file deemed inauthentic by peers, Sacramento trio's core constituency; Fashion Week officially arrives 4 months later, containing 6 of the rejected instrumentals and a further 8; all are agog. Yet another unconventional birth from a group subject to all the head-scratching scrutiny the internet can muster and about whom the music press is yet to develop an adequate critical framework.