Release Date: Feb 19, 2013
Record label: 4AD
Influence is inevitable. I needn’t repeat well-read aphorisms, invoke alt lit, or otherwise reveal key phenotypes re: my demographic, college major, or plausible grad school contingencies to demonstrate as much. It’d be redundant, anyway. You think of things to make things, and maybe somebody’ll think it’s new: that’s just how it works.
Following in the footsteps of late '90s neo-soul crooners Maxwell and D'Angelo, the downtempo alchemists of industrially-minded duo Inc. deliver a sparkling mix of new age trip-hop and minimalist dubstep on their expansive full-length debut. The by-product of L.A. fraternal songsters Daniel and Andrew Aged, No World is a heady mix of opaque beats and Romy Madley Croft guitar lines that reverberate throughout the band's 41-minutes of modest club bangers.
Inc. doesn’t make a big fuss about it. With major-label R & B still getting a bad rap for being too verbose and sappy, in slides inc. with a tactical and tactful blend of seductive strains framed by minimal instrumentation. One might be tempted to think that Andrew and Daniel Aged, the two Los ….
Another leftfield signing for 4AD, who continue to extend their tendrils beyond the historic staple of watercolour guitar bands. Inc is the recording name of Los Angeles brothers Andrew and Daniel Aged, and their debut album is 11 whispered R&B songs, all textured, considered and thoughtfully constructed. Opening track ‘The Place’ (stylised as ‘the place’ – they’re so laid back, they don’t do capital letters) has Andrew singing breathily, “I feel like you’ve been here before” from a bed of subtle synth lines and cushioning percussion.
“Many years listening to this man’s music growing up,” Gotye gushed somewhat unintelligibly as he accepted the Record of the Year Grammy on Sunday, “and a big reason I was inspired to make music. ” The Australian pop-rocker’s enthusiasm for the remarkably well-aged but cane-equipped Prince is no doubt shared by dozens of artists serving as the catalysts of the modern R&B renaissance that’s been unfolding over the past two years. From Frank Ocean and the Weeknd to unfortunately named PBR&B mainstays like How to Dress Well and Active Child, the younger generation has essentially commandeered the Purple One’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover” with their own brand of quiet falsetto, lo-fi production, and pop-friendly melodies.
no world is Andrew and Daniel Aged's second release as inc. (formerly Teen Inc.), and it refines and improves on 2011's 3 EP. On that brief release, the two L.A. producers were still trying to extract their strengths as songwriters and producers from their fixation on 1980s R&B. Two years later ….
Electronic R&B has existed since the ‘80s (if not earlier), but it has been increasingly in vogue lately. The recent rise is partially because of the popularity of various kinds of electronic dance music, which pulls from other genres and also oozes and pumps its way into their bloodstreams. It’s been helped along by the success of singers like Drake and the Weeknd, who prefer to sing about disaffection and sexual encounters over dark synthesizer washes.
Depending on your viewpoint, we could be currently enjoying a golden age of RnB or we could be experiencing its lamentable nadir, with traditional funk and groove sounds largely replaced by introspective seclusion and downbeat atmospherics. RnB of a distinctly leftfield indie nature has been a growing trend over the past few years before reaching true cultural breakthrough with records by The Weeknd, The xx and Drake becoming ubiquitous reference points. Californian siblings Daniel and Andrew Aged, who comprise Inc., very much share a similar aesthetic with these acts.
Brotherly duo Andrew and Daniel Aged are the latest act to reimagine the hallmarks of R&B's 90s glory days as something more broodingly personal. Unsurprisingly, the most striking qualities of these seasoned session players for 50 Cent and Elton John are the lightness and tightness of their luxe sound. Most of No World's 11 tracks have hushed, come-hither vocals, bleeping keys, reverbed guitar, gliding bass lines and spacious, jazzy drumming that occasionally flirts with drum 'n' bass.
Review Summary: Taking power from stagnating major labels one PBR&Bstep at a time.Since the recent emergence of electronic-influenced production techniques interlaced with R&B vocals, critics and the internet music nerd genre police alike have been quick to latch onto this evolution with some newly fabricated terminology. Alternative R&B (alternative to what?), PBR&B (whatever the fuck that even means, I'm guessing something to do with hipsters, whatever a hipster even is anymore), ethereal R&B, and troves of other vague descriptors populate the blogosphere lately but are ultimately unnecessary. While basically clumped in with this supposed new breed of R&B experimentalists, Inc.
Andrew and Daniel Aged's first release for 4AD was a 2011 EP that offered three tracks of shuddering, shale-strength neo-new jack swing. On their first album, they display a deeper understanding of contemporary R&B but reduce and smooth their sound to wispy mood pieces. Much of No World is so slight, tentative, and ill-defined that it easily slips into pleasant background listening for intimate encounters and soul searching.
inc. isn’t only minimalist by name. The L.A. duo comprised of producers and brothers Daniel and Andrew Aged specialize in spacey, shimmery hip-hop beats meshed with half-whispered vocals, and their first full-length, no world, compiles 11 tracks in that very vein. None, however, are particularly ….
Gifted LA siblings come of age, and you’ll want what they’re having. Si Hawkins 2013 Old in name if not in years, inc. are the LA-based Aged brothers who made a low-key impact two years ago with the 3 EP, a smooth if ultimately slightly unsatisfying trio of RnB cuts. The discerning British label 4AD clearly sensed potential though, the boys’ history hinting at greater substance beyond that fresh but flawed opener.
“The place that we already know, I feel like we’ve been here before.” The Aged brothers are sure acting the part if they haven’t already been “here” before. Nary a moment is wasted as this opening line chisels out the album’s first track, “the place”. The atmosphere is hardly arid concerning not only the lyrics but also the hip-hop drenched influence of the Aged brothers project, aptly named, Inc.
No World just might be one of the best albums of 2013. This may be a rather bold assertion to be making so early on in the year, but it’s an accurate statement, for the 4AD-signed brothers have pulled together a magical, expressive and roomy debut collection of free-thinking, corporeal after-hours jams, and the result is something of an unforgettable masterpiece.Essentially, the duo formerly known as Teen Inc. have shortened their name but expanded on their sound.
There are worse things to be than too cool, I guess. The idea that you’re listening in to some awesome fashion party that you’re not personally hip enough to be at exists in the not too distant background all the way through the brothers inc.’s debut No World. Yet there’s certainly a soul to this often genuinely emotional record that’s led me to regard it as a slightly more convincing take on the same hazy sound that label mates Indians are currently peddling.