Divine Styler ‎– Spiral Walls Containing Autumns Of Light

Label:
Giant Records ‎– 9 24444-2
Format:
CD, Album
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© 1992 Giant Records Inc.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Scanned, EAN-13): 0075992444422
  • Barcode (Text): 0 7599-2444-2 2

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Euphonics

Euphonics

December 28, 2016
edited 10 months ago
Undoubtedly the most ambitious hip hop production of the decade. "Spiral Walls..." is the type of culmination that only happens to a genre every ten (sometimes even TWENTY) years. A historic moment that barely made a peep on the public's radar, this is absolutely the most futuristic release that could have occurred in the rap game. In terms of being 'before its time', this far-out, almost untenable release easily falls in with the most paradigm-shifting albums to ever shake up the Twentieth Century: Ornette Colman's "The Shape Of Jazz To Come". Coltrane's "Giant Steps". Can's "Tago Mago". Comus' "First Utterance". "The Beatles". "Nevermind". These are the albums that broke boundaries so severely and so confidently that they can only be properly understood when viewed in retrospect. It can take years for the general listening public to catch up with the abruptness of these forward-thinking artistic leaps. Often, they are so incendiary as to incite disdain and even hate.

After Divine Styler's relatively conventional debut LP in 1989, he converted to Islam and apparently underwent a nearly-unrecognizable stylistic transformation. The result was a deeply personal, highly indulgent set of avant-rap experiments that flirted with rock, metal, folk, ambient, and spoken-word all at once. It is both cosmic and inward. It is utterly, unspeakably bizarre. For this reason, it is more important to me as a historical document than for actual pleasurable listening. Though it was published THIRTEEN years earlier, the song "Grey Matter" sounds like it was pulled directly from Edan - Beauty And The Beat, which I have come to regard as one of the very most original landmarks of hip hop in general.
This should be viewed as a key progenitor when examining the evolution of rap. Following this lineage would be DJ Shadow, the aforementioned Edan, and Kendrick Lamar.
kamikaze_deadboy

kamikaze_deadboy

December 22, 2014
A very strange release that fell under the radar in the mid 90s indeed. Having heard Divine Styler raps and some of his work on a house of pain album I picked this album up in a second hand CD store quite intrigued. When i put it on, boy was i surprised! part bizarre spoken word, some weird Jimi hendrix-esque guitar numbers, some funk, multiple references to his recent conversion to Islam and only 2 actual songs that can be considered on this album as hip hop. Divine i'm unsure if he was or wasn't losing his mind on this album but he's screaming words like a deranged preacher, backed by music that sound quite sparse, and dark out of tune. by the far the best track(s) is the onslaught of proto-Industrial which is "Mystic Sheep Drink Electric Tea", The only return to the original DS style which is "Grey matter" and kinda spoken word rap of Livery. The album ends as weird as it begun with what sounds like Divine flying away into hyperspace.

as a footnote after this amazingly weird album he disappeared for years before dropping a more normal, Sci-Fi rap themed album entitled Directrix on Mo' Wax, which was released in two different versions, and yet again, just after 14 years of been out of the public eye Divine Styler appears again in 2014, again with a musically different sound. I haven't heard this album in ages as its been sitting on my shelf for some time but back in the day i rated as one of my favorite albums for its sheer eclecticism and shift to different styles on record. worth picking if you interested to hear a truly bizarre masterpiece of the mid 90s.