Release Date: Mar 26, 2012
Record label: Stones Throw
Genre(s): Rap, Underground Rap, Left-Field Hip-Hop
I never thought a Geoff Barrow hip-hop project would be anything more than a uniquely interesting sideshow, something to play through and enjoy, but nothing more. I never thought it’d be something to love and dissect. I never thought I’d listen to nothing else for three days straight after getting it. I never, ever expected anything this good.
Quakers might be named after seismic shifts, but their self-titled debut album is more like an explosion. A double-disc set featuring lots of producers, lots of emcees, and lots of tracks, it could be overwhelming, but the shared vision of everyone involved makes it a triumph. Going by the alias Fuzzface, Portishead's Geoff Barrow's fondness for hip-hop has long been evident in his work, but this is his first overtly rap project.
QuakersQuakers[Stones Throw; 2012]By Chase McMullen; March 29, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetGeoff Barrow just dropped a 41 track hip hop album. One has to sit back and simply take in the audacity before registering just how massive that is. For “hip-hop heads,” the Portishead guru is an uncertain guest; during the earlier years of indie sensibilities creeping into rap culture, fans of the more traditional welcomed the changes with open arms; electing snobbery over the dull platitudes available on the airwaves.
Quakers features 41 tracks in 69 1/2 minutes. Now there's a fair amount of background detail to roll out when it comes to the latest Stones Throw release-- an indie rap committee project assembled by Portishead's Geoff Barrow, abetted by co-producers 7-Stu-7 and Katalyst, and given over to everyone from abstract-rap vets to obscure, googleproofed MySpace MCs. But above everything else, those numbers still jump out more than anything.
A rap consortium produced by Geoff ‘Portishead’ Barrow? [i]NME[/i] hoped for a dystopian cash money route: a nightmarish descent through the frozen coke-lands of conspicuous consumption; a future-brutal spin on Gucci Mane via Scandinavian nihilism. But ‘Quakers’ is warmly familiar, prosaic backpacker fare – a 41-track odyssey spanning the bad-ass (‘Fitta Happier’), the easy (‘There It Is’) and the thuggish (‘War Drums’), all fat beats, scratching and soul samples. That is ‘real’ hip-hop according to Barrow, and if you like your rap homespun, rich, physical and all ‘summer-in-NYC ’95’, it’s a dream.
Though he makes up a mere 1/35th of Quakers, Geoff Barrow – best known as the man behind trip-hop legends Portishead – is easily the closest thing to a household name to be found in the newly-formed hip-hop collective on L. A. ’s celebrated Stones Throw Records, and subsequently, the name most likely to be highlighted, underlined, and otherwise singled out as the group’s primary member.
Cult vocalists and complete unknowns trade the mic on this Earth-shaking hip hop set. Adam Kennedy 2012 Sprawling collectives have been part of hip hop from the artform's inception: Native Tongues, Wu-Tang Clan and Odd Future, for instance. But even by those standards, Quakers are a rather sizeable entity, numbering more than 35 members and pooling talent from around the globe.