Review: RODEOGLO – BLVCKHEVRT (Dismiss Yourself, Oct 21)

From my limited experience with the discipline, I’ve gradually gathered that there are three types of producers: those who excel when composing for other artists, those who excel when composing their own work, and those who excel at both. Norfolk-based beatmaker and sample sculptor RODEOGLO definitely belongs to that last group, able to reserve the most lush and garish soundscapes for his own mind-bending tracks while also creating instrumentals that function much better as complementary backing for other MCs. BLVCKHEVRT, released by newcomer label Dismiss Yourself, is RODEOGLO’s first full-length solo set, a surreal dreamscape of rattling hi-hat patches, vocal excerpts and hooks autotuned to near-unintelligibility, and endless layers of sheeny synth textures and enveloping bass to get hopelessly lost inside. The first few tracks are mostly instrumental aside from the heavily processed vocals, yet handily succeed in whipping up a joyously frenzied atmosphere of thick smoke and saturated color. “AK-47” puts Sematary to shame with its excellent sluggish trap crooning, the pounding percussive energy of “ETHEREAL” seethes underneath a fiery verse from Lil Pablo, “EAST SIDE SWAG XXX” swaggers along with a gritty Memphis-esque bounce—and those are only three of the twelve equally fantastic songs on the tape. The handful of features are distributed with panache, from the aforementioned electricity of the Lil Pablo track to the almost somnambulistic-sounding contributions from LZA and Krone on the hazy “SLIDE.” RODEOGLO handles almost all of the production on BLVCKHEVRT, co-producing on two tracks and handing the reigns to NXSTA for “TWEAKER,” which with its hilarious Mario samples and artful bitsmashing ends up being one of the tape’s most memorable. A singular and exciting official debut from this talented artist.