We already knew Danny Brown’s upcoming album was inspired by Joy Division — it is called Atrocity Exhibition, after all — but the legendarily gloomy post-punk band isn’t the only darkly iconic artist fueling Brown’s latest vision. Brown has cited the Talking Heads as an influence, and he told Zane Lowe he’s been working out to Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool. And in a new interview with Rolling Stone, Brown says the album also channels Björk, Raekwon, and System Of A Down. Ultimately, though, Ian Curtis and “Atrocity Exhibition” hang over this music most:
I just relate to that song a lot. That song, [Curtis is] pretty much talking about how he feels like he’s part of a freak show almost. People just wanna come see him and they just wanna see him be a certain type of way. I totally relate to that. That’s just how I felt with this album, ’cause a lot of people expect for me to be some crazy drugged-out I-don’t-know.
Brown also told RS he and producer Paul White used so many samples that clearing them all cost more than $70,000. Other producers on Atrocity Exhibition include Evian Christ, Black Milk, Petite Noir, and Alchemist. Kelela and B-Real have guest spots, and “Really Doe” brings out the murderers row of Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt, and Ab-Soul, marking the first time Kendrick and Earl have been on a track together.
As for the album’s aesthetic, Brown says it veers away from the EDM tendencies of 2013’s Old because he wasn’t really writing with festivals in mind this time:
With Old, I wanted to have those performance songs so I can play those shows. That was what was a part of my world, doing festivals. Whereas this album is just my sound. This is Danny Brown.
Here’s the tracklist:
01 “Downward Spiral”
02 “Tell Me What I Don’t Know”
03 “Rolling Stone” (featuring Petite Noir)
04 “Really Doe” (featuring Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul & Earl Sweatshirt)
06 “Ain’t It Funny”
08 “White Lines”
10 “Dance In The Water”
11 “From The Ground” (featuring Kelela)
12 “When It Rain”
14 “Get Hi” (featuring B-Real)
15 “Hell For It”
Atrocity Exhibition is out 9/30 on Warp.