The first five seconds of Midcity (“it’s clipping. bitch”) sounds like conventional hip-hop, but then an abrupt blast of what could pass for digital-era Merzbow hits like a brick in the face. Then silence, as Daveed Diggs’ lightning-fast rapping cuts in, a capella. What follows over the next 50 minutes explores those two extremes in every imaginable way. Starting with the Wolf Eyes-meets-party-rap of “Loud” through to the devastating, sobering “Real,” Midcity is a brain-damaged club crawl carried by Diggs’ equally funny and dark rapping. With a deep understanding and love for hip-hop and harsh noise, clipping. make what could have come off as gimmicky (or a Death Grips clone) into one of the most exciting hip-hop or noise acts to come around this year. – Miles
BUY: Midcity is available via Bandcamp.