SXSW Record Reviews

Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals / Milo

Malibu (Steel Wool/OBE) / So the Flies Don't Come (Ruby Yacht/The Order Label)

SXSW Record Reviews

Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals

Malibu (Steel Wool/OBE)

Milo

So the Flies Don't Come (Ruby Yacht/The Order Label)
SXSW Record Reviews

At first glance, Anderson .Paak, a burgeoning star, and Milo, an obscure rhymesayer, have nothing in common. Hellfyre Club, an eclectic collective from Los Angeles, proves otherwise as the pair's unlikely intersection. After a star turn on Dr. Dre's Compton, .Paak goes for broke on Malibu, unfolding a genuine and nostalgic tale of his "lonely castle" life in Oxnard. There's effortless, unhurried groove as he slides from the disarming grit of Nineties hip-hop in "Without You" to Sixties soul on "The Bird" and honey-dripped R&B with "Am I Wrong," all following like Kendrick Lamar opus To Pimp a Butterfly. And at 30, .Paak's still like you and me: "A product of the tube, living room watching old reruns." The less conventional of the two, Milo, 24-year-old Wisconsin rapper Rory Ferreira, rearranges words with a childlike curiosity heard on his 2014 Hellfyre Club-helmed debut, A Toothpaste Suburb. September's So the Flies Don't Come buzzes with an experimental naiveté that fills sonic spaces with sinewy lyricism delivered in a free-jazz stream-of-consciousness cadence. "An Encyclopedia" and "Souvenir" ignore the restraints of rhythm, transforming phonetic sounds into quick-witted taunts and off-kiltered speech abstractions. (Anderson .Paak: Fri., 11pm, Hype Hotel; Milo: Thu., 11:15pm, Karma Lounge)

(.Paak) ****.5

(Milo) ****

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

SXSW Music 2016, Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals, Milo

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