Alias & Ehren
I’ve been digesting the complete works of a label called Anticon these past few weeks. Anticon started off as an ‘alternative’ hip hop label, intelligent and quirky. An ‘Indie’ hip hop label that has been going for over a decade now and has spread further than hip hop, taking in Indie guitar, quirky electronics and other stuff that takes you by surprise. If you like any of the following you will like this label: DJ Shadow, Andy Weatherall, The Beastie Boys, Massive Attack, the Warp label, Four Tet, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Gorillaz. There are oddities too, like the Sigur Ros autumnal sumptuousness of Anathallo’s 4th album Canopy Glow.
The label has a huge number of crossover points, artists collaborate, different groups are made up of the same people. One of those artists, who has just released a new album is Alias. Alias started off as a rapper and has since moved into production and instrumental based tunes. Like a lot of the label’s work, his work has a strong smell of spliff across it, this is what the 90s called ‘head nodding’ music. Trip Hop is another label you might want to throw in it’s direction.
Back in 2005 he produced an album called Lilian, where he worked with his brother under the name Alias & Ehren. Alias provides electronic hip hop grooves and his brother Ehren provides live instrumentation, sax, flute and clarinet for starters. And it is a gorgeous album, beautiful beats under lovely melodies, one of the best albums I’ve heard this year. How did I miss this stuff?