The Life & Death of Scenery

by L'Orange & Mr. Lif

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about

George Orwell once prophesized, “if you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.” The latest EP from L’Orange & Mr. Lif, The Life and Death of Scenery, conceives a chimerical “lighthearted dystopia” just far enough from modernity to breathe easily, but close enough to make you consider relocating to that cave in the forest. In this collaboration with the eccentric North Carolina producer, L’Orange, Lif imagines an adjacent future called the “last society,” where culture has been obliterated and physical survival has taken precedence over art.

Released through a partnership between Adult Swim and Mello Music Group, the duo’s latest opus opens with one of four addresses from “The Narrator” (played by The Daily Show’s Wyatt Cenac). These Big Brother missives capture a world where the, “books are all burned, the vinyl has been melted, and the remaining art catapulted over the city walls.” The mere act of whistling is cause for the guillotine. It’s the rap analogue to Fahrenheit 451, 1984, or a Brave New World, where the Soma is uncomfortably soothing and the sunshine eerily abundant.

The former Def Jux legend inhabits on the role of The Scribe, frantically showing the post-apocalyptic survivors the power of what's been lost. It attacks those who value disposable art over the timeless; it articulates the necessity of preserving culture; it lampoons the absurdity of attempting to destroy one of the most immutable qualities in mankind.

In L’Orange’s words, the collaboration is “a negotiation of influences without compromise.” You can hear the producer’s trademark alchemy of classic boom-rap with glitchy fuzz, a compressed whimsy that slaps against somber scythe-like piano lines, ominous spaghetti western licks, and celestial saxophone licks.

Lif spits staccato bars in double-time, adeptly slicing through the beats like banned books to a shredder. He’s joined on “Antique Gold” by the 19-year old monotone samurai, Chester Watson. Gonjasufi’s banshee yelp makes “Strange Technology” even more resonant. Insight bombards on “Five Lies About the World Outside.” The legendary turntablist Q-Bert contributes cuts on “The Scribe.” While Akrobatik, Lif’s longtime partner in The Perceptionists, pops up twice to exhibit their almost telepathic tag-team chemistry.

The rapping is virtuosic. The production is sumptuous and scene setting. But what sticks is those cumulative effects: the fantastic imagination of this foreign but familiar world, the importance of illuminations in a world that values cold logic, the sly humor of winking oracles, and inexorable fear that this could be a reality—should we continue down our current path.

credits

released October 14, 2016

All Songs Produced by L'Orange
Vocals by Mr. Lif

Narrated by Wyatt Cenac
Guest Vocals by Akrobatik (The Scribe, Strange Technology), Chester Watson (Antique Gold), Insight (Five Lies About The World Outside), & Gonjasufi (Strange Technology)
Guest Scratches by DJ QBert (The Scribe)
Mixed by Seiji Itaru Inouye
Mastered by Glenn Schick

Graphic Design by Sarah Mattmiller
Art by Douglas Hale

Executive Produced by Michael Tolle
Mello Music Group Copyright 2016

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Mello Music Group Arizona

Like Lao Tzu in Hiphop., Mello Music Group provides music for the soul, from the heart of American culture, opening the realm of the intelligent Hiphop experience through melodic evocations, beats that corroborate the truth, and voices that roar above the rising void and impose order on the terrible & triumphant moments of everyday life. This is the compelling sound of Mello Music Group. ... more

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Track Name: Strange Technology (feat. Akrobatik & Gonjasufi)
Mr. Lif: The tale was discussed
beneath the earth's crust

Akrobatik : Spectators at the equator
we're ready for the data
As we relay the anecdotes through manic quotes

Mr. Lif: To see if panic floats
past antidotes
And remote mechanisms
which contained strange visions

Akrobatik: From Lisbon to Brisbane
the rivers ran crimson
Strange technology
changed the anthology

Mr. Lif: Psychologically, chemically causing these...
Physical reactions
Combustion

Akrobatik : Eruption

Mr. Lif: Look, the lone scientist sculpting

Akrobatik : Sociopathic
maverick
Bringing havoc

Mr. Lif: Didactic
Catching the hatchet
Mid backflip

Akrobatik : and now the super villain's uber chillin
Heros are dying left and right
Survivors wonder who could fill in

Mr. Lif: And who's willing?
Ak, Lif, & L'Orange

Akrobatik : Countdown to assault is on
Twist the ganje

Chorus by Gonjasufi
????

Verse 2

Mr. Lif: Take a walk down these dark hallways
But always
Watch for tall waves

Akrobatik: Making any walls cave
and succumb to the pressure
Now you're numb forever

Mr. Lif: No skin
Nowhere to begin
and no sensors

Akrobatik: Mutilated
Due to the state of rejuvenated
all eye seeing beings
You fleeing, but not recuperated

Mr. Lif: Illuminated
Humans waited
Some were super faded
from the psychedelic relics
that we threw into their soup
They ate it

Akrobatik: If you ain't crew related
Perish while hallucinating
Mercy killings for these thirsty villains
Euthanasia
Jack Kevorkian
AK's the black scorpion

Mr. Lif: Time to teleport me in
Authoring
Brautigan

Akrobatik: Yup, it's the squad again
Hoodies no cardigans

Mr. Lif: With literary gems offered to the audience

Akrobatik: Shine like onyxes
Emeralds
Amethysts

Mr. Lif: Rap strategists
who cause the comp damages