Aesop Rock and long­time music­al ally Block­head have released their new album Gar­bology via Rhymesay­er- stream it here.

Though the pair’s col­lab­or­at­ive rela­tion­ship stretches back to the start of their respect­ive music careers in the late 90’s, includ­ing Block­head pro­du­cing two of the most pop­u­lar songs of Aesop’s back cata­log (“Day­light” and “None Shall Pass”) and lend­ing one anoth­er sev­er­al fea­tures across each other’s releases over the inter­ced­ing years, Gar­bology marks their first full length release togeth­er. The album came togeth­er in the midst of Aesop pro­cessing the loss of a close friend in Janu­ary of 2020, which had res­ul­ted in a cre­at­ive lull.

“The world got real weird dur­ing those months,” recalls Aesop. “I knew at some point I had to get back to mak­ing some­thing. Make a beat. Draw a pic­ture. Write. Just go. But the idea of mak­ing a beat felt like math home­work, and draw­ing is just so hard. Writ­ing is hard too, but at some point I had to pick one.” Hav­ing decided on writ­ing as the path for­ward, Aesop hit up Block­head for some beats.

There wasn’t any par­tic­u­lar plan bey­ond cre­at­ing some songs, but it wasn’t long before they’d amassed an album’s worth of mater­i­al.

Gar­bology music­ally encap­su­lates our cur­rent moment; a snap­shot of Aes and Block enter­tain­ing them­selves in an era where social inter­ac­tions are lim­ited, all while “anchored on a goulash of cab­in fever, fear, anger and bore­dom”, as Aesop describes it.

As for the title, he explains that “Gar­bology is defined as the study of the mater­i­al dis­carded by a soci­ety to learn what it reveals about social or cul­tur­al pat­terns. I find a lot of par­al­lels between that and the idea of pick­ing up the pieces after a loss or peri­od of intense unrest, and see­ing what’s really there. It’s inform­a­tion that speaks to who I am, who we are, and how we move for­ward.

Fur­ther­more — the idea of dig­ging through old, often neg­lected music from anoth­er time with an ear tuned for tak­ing in that data in a dif­fer­ent way than your aver­age listen­er would is exactly what Block does. Go through the inform­a­tion and see what you find.” In the spir­it of the album’s theme, the vinyl has been pressed as an “eco-mix”, a 100% recycled com­pound com­prised of trimmed flash and left overs from oth­er col­or vinyl press­ings which can­not oth­er­wise be reused, res­ult­ing in every copy of the LP hav­ing its own unique appear­ance while sig­ni­fic­antly redu­cing the envir­on­ment­al impact of the press­ing pro­cess.

The concept behind the album’s title was also brought into a meta­phor­ic­al focus by the pre­vi­ously released music video for “Jazz Hands” dir­ec­ted by Rob Shaw - watch here

Gar­bology is out now–­bology
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Mark Mukasa

Mark Mukasa

Mark is a South Lon­don based writer and avid fan of all things hip hop. He’s also an MMA and his­tory enthu­si­ast who tries to keep his love of animé under wraps.

About Mark Mukasa

Mark Mukasa
Mark is a South London based writer and avid fan of all things hip hop. He's also an MMA and history enthusiast who tries to keep his love of anime under wraps.